Justice Dept. probe clears Mobile deputy

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department has ruled that a Mobile County sheriff's deputy acted appropriately when he shot and killed 18-year-old Robert Lucas during a foot chase.

The results of the federal probe back findings made by the sheriff's office and a Mobile County grand jury that Sgt. Paul Burch was justified in firing shots that killed Lucas in November 2007 during an undercover drug probe.

Burch could not be reached for comment Tuesday. The deputy earlier said Lucas pointed a gun back at him during the chase, and that's when Burch fired.

Sheriff Sam Cochran says the Justice Department's finding was not unexpected since the shooting had been thoroughly investigated locally.

An FBI spokesman says the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division informed Lucas' mother of its decision in a letter.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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