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Local

Lancaster Couple Awarded More Than $4M After Warrantless Raid

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LANCASTER (CBSLA.com) — A Lancaster couple has been awarded over $4 million nearly three years after deputies invaded their home and opened fire.

Sheriff’s Deputies Christopher Conley and Jennifer Pederson were searching for a parolee-at-large in October 2010 when they raided the makeshift residence of Angel Mendez and his wife, Jennifer, without a warrant, court records show.

The couple was shot more than a dozen times.

The male victim was forced to have his leg amputated as a result of his injuries. He was holding a rifle-style BB gun at the time of the raid.

His wife, who was pregnant at the time, suffered a shattered collar bone.

The couple filed suit in 2011, alleging excessive force and federal civil rights violations, City News Service reports.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald sided with the Mendezes following a four-day bench trial earlier this year.

Fitgerald concluded the deputies “violated Mr. and Mrs. Mendez’s constitutional right to be free from an unreasonable search based on the manner of entry”, according to CNS.

Angel and Jennifer Mendez were awarded a respective $3.8 million and $222,000, their attorney said.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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