Mother’s Day shooting death case settles in Bedford County Circuit Court

Gentry Locke for the Plaintiff

Bedford County Circuit Court

On Mother’s Day in 2015, our client learned that her husband had been shot in the back of his head and killed. The shooter was taken into police custody and acknowledged that he had been drinking alcoholic beverages over the last 30 hours and had been burning brush in a barrel, having had little sleep. The shooter alleged that he saw his victim driving too fast and decided to confront the man.

The shooter acknowledged a heated confrontation, but he claimed he acted in self-defense and that the victim acted as an aggressor. Specifically, the shooter alleged the victim charged him with something in his hand. The shooter reacted by pulling out a gun to defend himself, which he said resulted in an accidental discharge.

Investigation revealed that the shooter’s story did not match up with the facts. The shooter unzipped a holster on the way to the victim’s house, told the victim he had a gun, pulled the gun out once to frighten or intimidate the victim, and cocked the hammer back before firing it. Cocking the hammer back was significant because it is consistent with aiming a shot, as opposed to accidentally discharging a firearm.

The victim left behind a wife and two adult children. He had one grandchild and another on the way.

After filing suit, Gentry Locke attorneys retained a firearm safety expert to explain how and why the shooter’s actions were inconsistent with self-defense and consistent with being the aggressor. Gentry Locke also produced safety literature establishing how the shooter acted irresponsibly in regards to his use of a firearm.

Shortly before trial, the case settled for $255,000. Attorney David Lawrence served as co-counsel on the matter.

Status of the case:

Settlement of $255,000 for our client.

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