Jury hears opening statements for Zachary Bearheel's case


The trial of a former Omaha Police Officer kicked into gear Tuesday afternoon with opening arguments for Zachary Bearheel's case.

Scotty Payne was one of two officers seen on camera tasing a man just a day before he died.

The jury spent the afternoon listening to opening statements from both the prosecutor and defense attorney.

Scotty Payne is accused of second degree assault and use of a deadly weapon.

"The evidence will show that these cases caused Bearheel's injury," said Corey O'Brien. "More than one of them was unjustified and unlawful."

Investigators said Payne and another officer tased Bearheel's at the Bucky's near 60th and center and he died the next day.

Coroners said the physical struggle and restraint were to blame.

Payne's lawyer said he did what he needed to do in that moment to keep himself and others safe.

"We pay police officers to fight and not fleet but no matter what training you have, the evidence is going to be your body reacts when we're faced with life or death situations." said Steve Lefler. "We can't control that reaction. our heart rate goes up."

The jury was also able to take a look at the pictures of the crime scene.

When FOX 42 asked Payne if he wanted to say anything about the trial, he denied to comment.

The trial will begin again Wednesday morning at 9 A.M.

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