A North Carolina minister is facing a wrongful death lawsuit after he shot and killed his son-in-law. The 911 calls made by the minister on the day of the shooting were discussed in detail in a Harnett County courthouse on Dec. 7, 2018. The county’s 911 communications manager testified on that day about the contents of the recorded calls. She faced questions from the lawyer representing the family of the man who was killed about specific language heard in the recordings.
At one point during testimony, the judge hearing the civil case interrupted to note that the communications manager seemed to be looking toward the defense attorneys for guidance in how to answer. The defense attorneys said that they had not coordinated with the witness before she was called to testify in the wrongful death case. The parents of the man who was killed sued the pastor over the 2013 shooting that took place at his Angier home. The minister said that he shot in self-defense and that the young man was breaking into the home through a front window.
Both men were audible on the 911 calls at one point, although the 911 manager said that she could not hear the sentences the lawyer claimed the man said. She also denied that the sounds of traffic on the call indicated that the phone was outdoors at the time. The shooter did not face criminal charges, as local law enforcement said that the Castle Doctrine protected his right to use deadly force in the case.
The family filed a civil lawsuit to address the shooting of their son. Families who have lost a loved one in a violent crime but have not received justice through the criminal court system could work with a personal injury lawyer to potentially pursue a wrongful death claim for damages.
Source: WRAL, “911 recordings trigger dispute in wrongful-death case against Angier minister“, Dave Hendrickson, Dec. 8, 2018