KALAMAZOO (WWJ) — The family of a teenager who was fatally shot by an Eaton County sheriff’s officer has won a key ruling in a lawsuit.
Federal Judge Paul Maloney dismissed some parts of the case Friday but said claims of excessive force can go to trial in the shooting of 17-year-old Deven Guilford.
Sgt. Jonathan Frost shot Guilford seven times during a traffic stop in 2015. The officer had stopped Guilford for flashing his high-beam headlights at him. Guilford refused to give his driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.
Frost declined to reveal his badge number. Frost says he was being punched by Guilford and feared for his life.
Maloney said there are inconsistencies between the evidence and Frost’s version of events. He added that some of what Frost said seems “almost inconceivable.”
“Since what happened in the ditch is subject to vociferous dispute, the Court does not see any good-faith basis for an appeal on this claim because purely factual disputes preclude summary judgment,” Maloney wrote in an opinion and order.
An appeal hearing on Maloney’s decision will take place at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio.