Family of Man Killed by Deputy in His Garage Awarded Just $4

'I don’t get it,' the family's lawyer said afterward
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2018 6:10 PM CDT
Updated Jun 1, 2018 1:00 AM CDT
Family of Man Killed by Deputy in His Garage Awarded Just $4
An image from the GoFundMe campaign for Hill's family.   (GoFundMe)

The family of a Florida man who was shot and killed in his garage by a police deputy has been awarded just $4 in damages, reports CBS. Gregory Hill was playing music in his garage on an afternoon in 2014 when a neighbor called the police to complain, the New York Times reports. Deputy Christopher Newman and another officer responded to the call and confronted 30-year-old Hill, a warehouse employee, in the garage of his Fort Pierce home. The police said Hill was holding a gun during the confrontation, and toxicology reports later concluded Hill was intoxicated at the time. After a less than two-minute encounter, the garage door (which had been opened for the deputies) was closed again and Newman shot at Hill through the door four times, striking him twice in the abdomen and once in the head.

Hill was found dead inside the garage with an unloaded gun in his back pocket. The family filed a wrongful death suit and requested damages for the pain and suffering of Hill’s three children. Last week, a federal jury delivered a verdict that baffled them. It found Newman had not used excessive force, but that St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara had been negligent (due to Newman's actions)—but only minimally so. Specifically, the sheriff's office was found to be just 1% at fault for Hill's death, so the damages ($1 for funeral expenses and $1 for each child’s suffering) were reduced to 4 cents from $4. The family's lawyer says, due to Hill's intoxication, the judge will further reduce the award from 4 cents to nothing. “I don’t get it,” the family's lawyer tells the Times. "I think [the jurors] were trying to insult the case. Why go there with the $1? That was the hurtful part." (More verdict stories.)

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