Trial, possibly plea bargaining, to come
Authorities said Mearkle had attempted to pull over Kassick for expired inspection and emissions stickers before he sped away. She caught up to Kassick near his sister's home where he had been living for a short time.Mearkle told investigators that she fired because Kassick would not show her his hands, and she feared he was reaching for a gun. Attorney General Ed Marsico believes otherwise.
He got out and ran before Mearkle incapacitated him with a stun gun, held in her left hand. He was on the ground when she shot him twice in the back with the gun in her right hand, police said.
The stun gun contained a camera that recorded audio and video from portions of the encounter, and District Attorney Ed Marsico called it the strongest evidence in the case.More from the affidavit:
He said it appeared Kassick had been trying to remove the stun-gun probe from his back.
"At the time Officer Mearkle fires both rounds from her pistol, the video clearly depicts Kassick lying on the snow covered lawn with his face toward the ground," according to the arrest affidavit. "Furthermore, at the time the rounds are fired nothing can be seen in either of Kassick's hands, nor does he point or direct anything toward Officer Mearkle."One of the Kassick family attorneys probably explained this in the most clear and easy to understand terms:
"Mr. Kassick is now dead as a result of a traffic stop, a routine traffic stop," said one of the family's attorneys, Christopher Slusser. "He should not be dead. He should not have died as a result of that traffic stop. And the manner in which he was shot - you can infer from that what you will."Mearkle is married to a state trooper and they have young children. This is a terrible, terrible case. The victims of this toxic environment, between law enforcement and the public, hurts everyone and leaves a mark for years.
Mearkle has been released on $250,000 bail.
Video of Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marisco Jr., at the press conference, below the fold.