Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Jury Awards $4 To Family Of Man Killed By St. Lucie Deputy

Jury Awards $4 To Family Of Man Killed By St. Lucie Deputy

A Florida family is devastated after a jury awarded them only $4 in damages on Thursday for funeral arrangements and pain and suffering for the fatal shooting of a Black father of three in his own garage. A SWAT team eventually opened the door to find Hill dead.

On January 14, 2014, around 3 p.m., a mother picking up her child at Frances K. Sweet Elementary School heard loud music blaring from Hill's home.

Hill's family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in 2016 after a jury didn't indict Newman.

Attorney John Phillips said the jurors - one black man, two white men and five white women - seemed receptive to the family's case during the trial, but confused by the instructions the judge gave for their deliberations last week.

The jury awarded Hill's family just $4: $1 for his funeral expenses, and $1 for each of Hill's three children.

However, on Wednesday (May 30) it was reported that a jury deduced that Newman did not use any excessive force, but his boss, Sheriff Ken Mascara, might have been "slightly negligent" when corresponding with Newman.

Toxicology reports revealed that Hills blood-alcohol content was several times the legal limit to drive. If the motion is denied, he said, he will file an appeal.

"I think they were trying to insult the case", Philips said. In doing so, the jury effectively erased any damages, Phillips said.

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"It's heartbreaking", Hill's fiancée Monique Davis told the paper.

Hill was found with an unloaded handgun in his back pocket, and toxicology reports found his blood-alcohol level to be almost five times the legal limit to drive, TCPalm.com also reported. Newman, he added, "was placed in a very hard situation, and like so many law enforcement officers must do every day, he made the best decision he could given the circumstances he faced". After almost two weeks of trial and 10 hours of deliberation last month, a jury sided with police and found that Newman did nothing wrong.

"Police arrived and spent less than 60 seconds on his property", Phillips said on Twitter.

Phillips disputed that Hill raised the gun toward the officers, questioning how the weapon ended up in his back pocket before he died.

Newman and another deputy responded to Hill's home, Hill partially opened the garage door, closed it and Newman fired four times, hitting Hill three times, including once in the head, according to court and police records. The case went to trial this month, and on May 24 a jury cleared Newman, assigned a small bit of blame to Mascara and said Hill was nearly entirely at fault because he was drunk.

Davis called him a family man who loved working and fishing, and always provided for his children.

On May 26, 2018, a jury trial was held in Federal Court in St. Lucie County, Florida. The case also asked the jury to determine if the family was owed any damages, and if so, what about they should receive, according to The New York Times. "Thats the only way Im going to get peace".

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