Courts & Crime

Texas man's Taser death ruled a homicide

FORT WORTH — The Tarrant County medical examiner ruled Thursday that the death of a mentally ill man in April who was shocked twice by a Taser stun gun wielded by a Fort Worth police officer was a homicide.

It was the fourth time that a person shocked by a Taser has died in Fort Worth police custody since the department started using the devices in 2001, according to the Police Department.

But the death of Michael Patrick Jacobs Jr., 24, is the first that Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani has ruled to be a homicide.

Jacobs was pronounced dead about noon April 18, an hour after he was hit by the Taser. His parents had called 911 because he was causing a disturbance at their east Fort Worth home, police have reported.

According to Peerwani's report, an officer shot Jacobs twice with the Taser, once for 49 seconds and another time for five seconds. An autopsy found no drugs, no system abnormalities and no electrolyte imbalances in Jacobs' body, Peerwani wrote.

Jacobs died of "sudden death during neuromuscular incapacitation due to application" of the Taser, Peerwani wrote.

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