Wife of Texas man killed by police in Arizona settles suit
A woman who claims she was attacked by Texas police in Pinal County, Ariz., and later fatally shot in the confrontation, is now asking the courts for a civil suit against deputies. (The Arizona Republic / Associated Press)
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PHOENIX — A woman who claims she was attacked by Texas police in Pinal County, Ariz., and later fatally shot in the confrontation, is now asking the courts for a civil suit against deputies.
In court documents filed Wednesday, Sandra Merritt claims deputies used excessive force, falsely arrested her and negligently shot at her vehicle, causing her death.
Her claim states she was driving along a highway in Pinal when a vehicle cut in front of her for about 20 feet and stopped. She says the driver, Patrick M. Marley, was driving an unmarked police car.
“After the traffic stop, Mr. Marley drove his vehicle through the red light at a high rate of speed approaching an intersection, causing Sandra Merritt to lose control of her vehicle,” the claim states. “As a result, Sandra Merritt lost control of her vehicle, which crashed into Marley’s vehicle.”
Police claim Marley was driving on a suspended drivers’ license.
Merritt was killed in the crash.
Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Chris Anzalone says Marley was arrested for driving while intoxicated, driving without a license and a traffic stop involving a disabled vehicle. He was released from jail on a promise to appear in court.
The incident happened April 26, 2015. Merritt is suing for violations of her rights to due process and her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, excessive force and wrongful death.
Marley has denied all the allegations. He says he had no idea Merritt was armed, got out of his vehicle and went after the shooter.
He told the story to the