Judge allows officer's account of shooting
By William C. Lhotka
A judge ruled Monday that prosecutors can use Thomas S. Zeigler's account of shooting a fellow St. Louis County police officer by accident during sex play - even though Zeigler now says he cannot remember it.
Judge Melvyn W. Wiesman rejected multiple defense arguments seeking to suppress from evidence the statements police say Zeigler made over several hours of questioning after the shooting on March 3.
Among the defense claims was that detectives coerced admissions from their colleague.
Zeigler will stand trial next year on charges including second-degree assault and armed criminal action.
He and Officer Patricia March, who was wounded in the face, were off duty when Zeigler's .40-caliber Glock semiautomatic pistol fired in his car parked outside his apartment in the 5500 block of Southfield Drive in south St. Louis County.
Court records show that March, 30, had follow-up facial surgery last month.
On Friday, psychologist Dan Cuneo was called by defense attorney Chet Pleban to testify in a hearing that Zeigler suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
One of its symptoms is amnesia, and Zeigler cannot remember what happened in the pre-dawn hours of March 3, the defense alleges.
Because of the amnesia, Pleban reasoned, police must have told him what to say and he repeated it back to them.
In written arguments, Pleban also said that Zeigler's statements were made under duress and coercion. Further, Pleban argued, the department's Board of Professional Responsibility compelled statements from Zeigler under threat of disciplinary action on the one hand and promises of nonprosecution on the other.
Prosecutor John Quarenghi countered with five witnesses. One was a polygraph examiner who said Zeigler never took the lie detector test because he made damaging statements in the pretest interview.
Police say Zeigler, 30, was asked if the shooting was an attempted suicide and he said it was possible. He later told police, they said, that the gun was a sex prop and went off accidentally.
Zeigler also is charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana, which allegedly were found in his car. He is free on bond awaiting trial.
Wiesman denied a request by Pleban to suppress use of the drugs - and of the weapon, which was found in Zeigler's apartment - as evidence.
Its true them Glocks do KB, when used as a sex toy ! [shock]
Those zany LEOs with their cocky Glocks. Or is that cocky LEOs with their zany Glocks? [;D]
hmmm.....HOSTAGE SEX? or maybe, a carjacking jack o....well, you get it. or maybe, somebody got a little to toothy? [:E]