Texas jury awards $9 million to beating victim

Story Highlights
"¢ Black man suffered brain damage after beating by 4 white men
"¢ Billy Ray Johnson, 46, lives in a nursing home because of the injuries
"¢ Men fined and sentenced to probation and jail, but none served more than 60 days


LINDEN, Texas (AP) -- A jury awarded $9 million to a black man who suffered permanent brain damage after being beaten and dumped in a field by four men in 2003.

Billy Ray Johnson, 46, lives in a nursing home because of the injuries he suffered in the beating. In the criminal case, the men accused of assaulting him were fined and sentenced to probation and jail time, but none served more than 60 days behind bars.

In a four-day civil trial in District Court that ended Friday, jurors found James Cory Hicks and Christopher Colt Amox responsible for Johnson's injuries. Defendants Dallas Chadwick Stone and John Wesley Owens previously reached confidential settlements, attorneys said.

A jury of 11 whites and one black deliberated less than four hours before returning a unanimous verdict, said attorneys for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of Johnson.

"The jury told all of Texas and, indeed, the entire country, that Billy Ray is a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity -- that the life of each of us, rich or poor, black or white, abled or disabled, is truly precious," said Morris Dees, founder and chief trial attorney for the Montgomery, Alabama-based law center.

Authorities in this poor, pine-locked east Texas hamlet had said that Johnson, well-known around town as a friendly but "slow" character, was lured to an all-white pasture party where underage drinkers fed him alcohol and picked on him.

Authorities said Johnson, who lived with his mother and brother and had no criminal background or history of violence, was taunted for the defendants' amusement. He was found unconscious on a fire ant mound and had suffered a serious concussion and bleeding in the brain.

Jurors in the criminal cases against Amox and Hicks acquitted them of serious felony charges, instead convicting them of a lesser charge and recommending probation. Stone and Owens pleaded guilty to an "injury to a disabled individual by omission" charge.

District Attorney Randal Lee said before the sentences were imposed that the juries' decisions were in line with other juries who sympathize with first-time offenders. He pointed out that the so-called beating involved one punch.




Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/04/22/texas.beating.ap/index.html[
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
Original Post
quote:
"¢ Black man suffered brain damage after beating by 4 white men
"¢ Billy Ray Johnson, 46, lives in a nursing home because of the injuries
"¢ Men fined and sentenced to probation and jail, but none served more than 60 days

Good ole Texax criminal justice. At least the civil courts are responsive...
quote:
In the criminal case, the men accused of assaulting him were fined and sentenced to probation and jail time, but none served more than 60 days behind bars.


In which century do we live? Where is the alleged progress 'they' are talking about? td6

quote:
that the juries' decisions were in line with other juries who sympathize with first-time offenders.


sck
A lot of these Civil Suits suprise me. How does he intend to collect? I guess he will have to let Lawyers rip him off further to try and get a few dollars a month out of their $ 1,000 a month pay check, but after legal fees, even on a percentage, he wont end up with anything.

Also, what happens if they put all their assets in a Family Members name, he still wont get nothing. Ask the Goldmans from the O.J. Situation. Being awarded large damages don't mean squat in many cases, you have to be able to collect. Also, in this fellow case, the Judge will probably have to appoint a Guardian to manage whatever funds he gets to keep friends and relatives fron stealing it, and usually thats another Lawyer.

leart
and this is why some are prepared to leave bodies laying all over the sidewalk..and have something for their azzes...like this brother and James Byrd both should have had........because they feel they should not have to be at the mercy of this kinda shit just because of their complexion....with a justice system that promotes it by saying don't worry....if it is a black person it will not be treated as too much of a big thing.....this can be (and has been) one sorry muthaphuckin azz country........and that is saying it politely......
God, if I'd only known how insane the people of this world would become, I would NEVER have given birth. There are NO words to describe this world NOW. NONE!!

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