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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Relatives of a North Carolina man fatally shot by a deputy can proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit after a judge found sufficient evidence that his constitutional rights were violated.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle rejected a request by the Harnett County Sheriff”s Office to dismiss the case in a ruling issued Thursday. Boyle wrote that it appears a deputy violated John David Livingston”s rights by entering his home without a warrant and using excessive force during a 2015 scuffle that ended with the fatal shooting.

Authorities and defense attorneys have previously said Livingston was intoxicated and had seized the deputy”s stun gun, causing the officer to fear for his life.

Boyle also said other plaintiffs alleging separate instances of excessive force have enough evidence to proceed with their claims.

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