SPRING GROVE, Pa. (AP) — A court has decided to allow prosecutors in York County to continue their quest to drop a misdemeanor charge against a former police officer who shot a man in handcuffs outside a bank almost four years ago.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a two-sentence order Monday to clear the way for an appeal to proceed in the case of Stu Harrison. The court also granted a similar petition by Harrison’s defense attorneys, the York Daily Record reported.

Harrison had been on the Southwestern Regional police force for more than 15 years when he shot a handcuffed prisoner who refused to get into the back of a police car outside a Spring Grove bank.

Harrison, 60, now of Bluffton, South Carolina, said he meant to use a stun gun when he shot the 33-year-old suspect in the leg. State police said the stun gun and firearm were worn on different sides of the officer’s belt and were different colors and weights.

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Prosecutors have tried to drop a simple assault charge against Harrison several times, most recently arguing that they could no longer prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt following the 2019 death of a key witness. A judge refused, saying about 80% of criminal cases before the court lack an independent witness.

The judge said, in denying an earlier bid to drop the case, that it was inappropriate for county prosecutors to “usurp the role of the sentencing court or even a fact-finder.”

Authorities said the defendant sought $500,000 from a bank teller but didn’t have ID or an account. His mother said he had been released from a psychiatric unit the day before and was confused. He pleaded guilty to defiant trespass and disorderly conduct and was placed on probation. He and his mother opposed dropping the case, saying the officer should face even more serious charges. They filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging excessive force.