The Latest: Former Omaha officer's bail set at $25,000

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Posted: Jul 28, 2017 3:11 PM
The Latest: Former Omaha officer's bail set at $25,000

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Latest on a former Omaha police officer charged in the death of a mentally ill man (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

A judge has set bail at $25,000 for a former Omaha police officer charged with felony assault in the death of a mentally ill man whom he is accused of shocking a dozen times with a stun gun.

Scotty Payne appeared in an Omaha jailhouse courtroom Friday for his first hearing on the charge, just hours after turning himself in to authorities as arranged by officials and Payne's attorneys. He wore a yellow jail jumpsuit.

He can be released if he posts $2,500, or 10 percent of the bail.

Payne's preliminary hearing on the charge was set for Sept. 11. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Earlier this week, prosecutors announced charges against Payne and former officer Ryan McClarty in a June 5 altercation that led to the death of 29-year-old Zachary Bearheels at an Omaha convenience store.

Police cruiser video shows Payne using a stun gun on Bearheels 12 times and McClarty repeatedly punching Bearheels in the face. McClarty has been ticketed for misdemeanor assault in the case.

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10:25 a.m.

A former Omaha police officer has surrendered to face a felony assault charge in the death of a mentally ill man whom he is accused of shocking with a stun gun a dozen times.

Douglas County Jail officials say Scott Payne surrendered around 5 a.m. Friday. His bond hearing is scheduled for the afternoon.

Police cruiser video shows Payne using a stun gun June 5 to shock 29-year-old Zachary Bearheels at an Omaha convenience store. Officer Ryan McClarty is seen punching Bearheels. Some of the blows came after Bearheels was on the ground and not resisting.

Prosecutors say McClarty has been ticketed for misdemeanor assault.

Police have said Bearheels was acting erratically and fought officers' efforts to take him into custody. He was pronounced dead later at a hospital.

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This story has been corrected to show the officer has been accused of shocking a mentally ill man a dozen times, an allegation his attorneys have questioned.