Columbus, Ohio recently resolved a lawsuit with Donna Castleberry's family, ending an unlawful death lawsuit the family brought against the city.
The City of Columbus recently agreed to settle an unlawful death lawsuit with the family of Donna Castleberry, a young woman who was "shot dead by a former vice officer in 2018".
Silhouette of a gun. Image via Flickr / User: Leasepics. (CCA-BY-2.0).
The tragic incident occurred on August 23, 2018. On that day, former Deputy Columbus Police Officer Andrew Mitchell was "working undercover when he picked up Castleberry during a suspected prostitution sting". According to Columbus Police, Mitchell "used force and opened fire after Castleberry pulled a knife and cut him during an altercation". According to reports, "Mitchell shot several times in the car and hit Castleberry … she died in a hospital."
However, in the lawsuit brought by Castleberry's family, it was argued that Castleberry "did not believe Mitchell was an officer". In addition, the family in the lawsuit questioned the use of lethal force, “suggesting that Mitchell should not be on the police force that day as he was already the subject of a separate criminal investigation by his own division for allegedly exercising his police powers had abused. "
As part of the latest settlement, the City of Castleberry's family will provide more than $ 1 million. The payout is one of the largest of its kind in the history of the city. When the lawsuit was originally filed, it was looking for $ 3.5 million.
As a result of the shooting, Mitchell is charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter. His trial, which is expected to begin this month, will not take place until next year. Commenting on the matter, Mitchell's defense attorney Mark Collin said:
“In such a case, it would take about 250 judges to get in. Looking at it, it doesn't make very good sense to bring 250 people to this area to learn what is going on in our community with the pandemic. ”
It's important to note that the murder and manslaughter charges aren't the only legal issues Mitchell faces. In fact, Mitchell resigned as an officer in March 2019 "around the same time he was charged with abuse of his badge". It turns out that prosecutors have alleged in the past that Mitchell has in the past "coerced women into sexual acts under threat of arrest".
In a statement regarding the recent settlement, Columbus City attorney Zach Klein said:
“This is still an active case, so we limit ourselves to what can be discussed at the moment. With this in mind, we have held active discussions with the Castleberry family attorney to promote justice and accountability. "
The settlement was reached in an unlawful death lawsuit filed by Donna Castleberry's family
The city plans to pay $ 1 million to the family of a woman who was killed by an officer