Girlfriend of man killed by York County Sheriff’s deputy says he was Tasered and shot twice

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Megan Sweeney still doesn’t know who sent the police to her front door on Wednesday night.

After her fiancé, Tyler Woodburn, got home from work around 6 p.m., he asked Sweeney if she wanted to go shopping with him.

They drove a bit on the way back, and on the dirt road near his parents’ home in Waterboro, Woodburn “did what literally everyone does in this neighborhood and did a burnout,” said Sweeney, describing how he revved the car’s engine and spun the wheels in the dirt.

“Honestly, I think that’s why the cops were called, because I don’t know why the police showed up,” Sweeney, 27, said.

Shortly after the couple arrived at the Rosemont Avenue home, York County Deputy Levi Johnson arrived. Sweeney and Woodburn live there with their children and his parents.

What happened next was terrifying, Sweeney said.

She saw Woodburn and Johnson begin to fight – a fight that ultimately cost Woodburn his life.

Two days later, Sweeney is still trying to come to terms with Woodburn’s death and its impact on their one-year-old daughter.

“I want justice for her because my daughter now has to grow up without her dad, and that’s the worst feeling,” Sweeney said. “It’s only day two. I guess it’s just one foot in front of the other until I can learn to go through life without him.”

Megan Sweeney cries as she describes the death of her fiancé Tyler Woodburn. Ben McCanna / Personal Photographer

York County Sheriff William L. King Jr. said Friday the Maine Attorney General’s office is investigating the case and was unable to answer further questions.

Jessica Maher, an attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police in Maine, said in response to a request to speak with Johnson that he had no comment other than to say the case was a tragedy for everyone involved. . Maher said further questions should be directed to the attorney general’s office.

Dana Hayes, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, said Friday the office could not share more information about the case. Asked about specific details provided by Sweeney, she said officials could not comment on an ongoing investigation.

AG REFUSED VIDEO REQUEST, 911 TRANSCRIPTIONS

The attorney general’s office also denied a Press Herald public records request requesting video footage and 911 transcripts of the incident. The office said there was no video illustrating the use of deadly force.

There is a video recorded by the police unit responding to the incident after the shooting, but the attorney general’s office said the video will not be released due to a state law that allows confidentiality of recordings “if there is a reasonable possibility that the public broadcast would interfere with law enforcement proceedings or constitute an undesirable invasion of privacy.

Tyler Woodburn and his fiancée Megan Sweeney with their daughter Lilith Woodburn, 1. Photo courtesy of Megan Sweeney

“For the same reasons, access to transcripts of any 911 calls are denied,” Brian MacMaster, a special assistant in the attorney general’s office, said in an email.

In 2013, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Press Herald on access to 911 transcripts, saying they were public records.

On Wednesday night, Sweeney said his mother first spoke with Johnson outside when he arrived at their home. She wasn’t sure what her mother had told Johnson, but when the deputy arrived home, Woodburn was waiting. Johnson told Woodburn he needed to speak to him outside.

Sweeney said Woodburn told him, “No, we can talk here.”

She said Johnson was wrongfully jailed for an incident in Massachusetts years ago and had a general dislike of the police. But she said he had no problems at all while they were together.

“When (Johnson) said that wasn’t good enough, Tyler said, ‘All right. We’re not talking,'” Sweeney said. came in and grabbed Tyler and threw him down our stairs, which started this fight.”

Sweeney said Johnson tasered Woodburn seven times as the two fought. When she finally pulled Woodburn off the deputy, Johnson shot her twice in the chest.

She said she wasn’t sure if Woodburn was holding the Taser. She didn’t think the incident should escalate to the point where it did.

“I KEEP SEEING HIS BODY GETTING SOFT”

“A Taser is very different from a gun,” Sweeney said. “He could have shot him anywhere, and he shot him in the chest from less than a foot away. And I keep seeing his body going limp.

Sweeney said Woodburn was unarmed when he met Johnson at home.

“If the cop hadn’t pushed him down the stairs, it wouldn’t have happened like this,” she said. “It just wouldn’t have been the case. I know Tyler. He’s not one to fight.

Sweeney said she heard the cop mention something about a possible YES, but she said Woodburn didn’t drink that night until they got home. “It’s not something to take someone’s life,” Sweeney said. “My little girl will never see her father again.”

Sweeney and Woodburn met about two years ago through a mutual friend. She said he fell in love with her after watching her look after her now 2-year-old son Eddie. They got engaged after Sweeney became pregnant with their daughter, Lilith, who was born last year. The family recently celebrated their first birthday with a bouncy house.

On Thursday night, Lilith freaked out and kept crying and saying, “Dada,” Sweeney said. “She’s only a year old, but she knows.”

The sheriff’s office had identified Woodburn as a resident of New Hampshire, but Sweeney said he lived in Waterboro with her and her family, although he previously lived in New Hampshire. A Maine criminal background check returned no results for Woodburn on Friday. The results of a New Hampshire criminal record check were not available Friday.

“It wasn’t necessary,” Sweeney said. “He’s already tasered him seven times. He could have at least shot him to hurt him. He didn’t have to kill him. He knew what he was doing when he pulled the trigger and he shot her twice.

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