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Reply to "Martin Lee Anderson -- Modern-Day Emmit Till"

Boot Camp Death Suit Settled for $7.4 Million

Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
By: Brent Kallestad, Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (AP) County authorities have agreed to pay $2.4 million to the family of a teenager who died after being roughed up by guards at a state-supervised boot camp, an attorney for the family said Tuesday.

Added to a $5 million claim being fast-tracked through the Legislature, the deal brings the total settlement over the death last year of Martin Lee Anderson to $7.4 million, said the family's attorney, Ben Crump. The family had sued for $40 million.

"The parents did not want to go through two lengthy trials and reliving the traumatic events that surrounded the death of their son," Crump said.

The Legislature dismantled military-style youth boot camps last year after the 14-year-old's death.

A report said seven guards at the sheriff's boot camp in Panama City, in Bay County, engaged in "abusive and inhumane" behavior when they struck Anderson with fists and knees, knocked him to the ground and held ammonia capsules under his nose.

The guards and a nurse who watched have been charged with manslaughter. All pleaded not guilty last month. They face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The limit on claims is $200,000, and any amount over that must be approved by the Legislature and Gov. Charlie Crist.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office did not immediately return a phone message.