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Estate files wrongful death lawsuit

The estate of a Badin man who was killed during an encounter with law enforcement has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Attorneys for the estate of Marlon Bryan Lewis filed the lawsuit earlier this month against Axon Enterprises, formerly Taser International, deputies Cpl. Timothy Hill and Andrew Furr as well as the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office.

Lewis died during the early morning hours of Dec. 15, 2016. after he allegedly attacked Badin police officer Brad Lowder while responding to a 911 call at the corner of Mayo and Dewey streets. Lewis is believed to have made the 911 call, citing that someone was after him, police said.

Lowder managed to call for backup with deputies Furr and Hill responding to the scene.

Counsel for the estate alleges Hill deployed a Taser against Lewis 23 times in less than 5 minutes. Furr used a Taser on Lewis four times during that same span, for a combined total of 27 times, according to court records filed Oct. 16 with the Stanly County Clerk of Superior Court.

The lawsuit further contends Hill’s certification to operate a Taser expired in December 2015, a year before Lewis’ fatal confrontation, and a policy violation within the Sheriff’s Office.

Court records also show the estate is alleging problems with the Taser manufacturer.

Attorneys for the family allege in court documents the officers misrepresented facts of the deadly encounter to the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, which conducted an independent probe.

An autopsy previously revealed Lewis died as a result of cocaine toxicity. Hypertensive cardiovascular disease may have also contributed to the fatality.

Puncture marks from the Tasers were found on the right abdomen and one below the right buttocks, according to the autopsy.

The autopsy report also revealed that a video, believed to be taken by an officer’s body camera, showed Lewis to be physically responsive after struggling with Lowder and two sheriff’s deputies.

Officers attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but failed to revive Lewis who was pronounced dead at the scene, records show.

Following the SBI investigation and autopsy, District Attorney Lynn Clodfelter’s office declined to pursue charges against the officers.