Prosecutor turns stun gun death case over to Nebraska AG

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ The Douglas County prosecutor has announced he’s turning over the criminal cases against two former Omaha police officers charged in connection with the death of a mentally ill man to the Nebraska attorney general.

County Attorney Don Kleine made the announcement in a written statement Friday, citing that it was the state attorney general’s office that oversaw a grand jury process last month. That grand jury concluded that assault charges are warranted against the former officers in the June stun gun-related death of 29-year-old Zachary Bearheels.

Police video shows then-Officer Scotty Payne using a stun gun repeatedly on Bearheels, and then-Officer Ryan McClarty punching Bearheels outside an Omaha convenience store after Bearheels was on the ground.

Kleine said Friday that because the attorney general’s case saw the grand jury recommend the same charges Kleine had previously filed, it would be more efficient for the attorney general’s office to prosecute the cases.