Judge awards $150 million symbolic verdict in 1998 Westside school shooting | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Judge awards $150 million symbolic verdict in 1998 Westside school shooting

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 7:34 AM

click to enlarge THE DEFENDANTS THEN: Johnson (left) and Golden.
  • THE DEFENDANTS THEN: Johnson (left) and Golden.
Circuit Judge John Fogleman Monday entered a $150 million verdict in behalf of victims of a mass shooting in 1998 at Westside Middle School.

Bobby McDaniel, attorney for the families, acknowledged that the money would never be collected A Jonesboro Sun article quoted his news release:

"If either of them tries to sell their story for a book or movie deal, or wins the lottery, this judgment means they can't get rich without paying these families first."

Andrew Golden, then 11 and now known as Drew Grant, and Mitchell Johnson, then 13, triggered a fire alarm and then, lying in ambush, shot 15 people, five fatally, including one teacher and four children. Johnson is in federal prison on an unrelated drug charge. Golden/Grant lives in Missouri.

The Sun quoted Pam Herring, mother of one of the children killed, Paige Herring:

"This effort was never about any money for us. We had to honor our loved ones and tell the court how much it hurt to have them taken from us, even all these years later. We also hope something can be learned from their depositions which may help prevent a similar situation in the future."

The defendants didn't appear in court and made no contest of the outcome. The depositions remain under seal, but McDaniel has said he hopes to get them released to give a window on what drove their actions.

The order granted $10 million each in compensatory and punitive damages against Johnson for each of the five families and $5 million in each type of damage against Golden for each of the five families.

The two were sentenced and juveniles and released from custody after they turned 21.

Mitchell Johnson's video deposition had never been sealed, only Golden's. David Koon wrote about the Johnson 2007 deposition in a 2008 cover story, "A boy killer speaks."
MITCHELL JOHNSON: In 2007 deposition.
  • MITCHELL JOHNSON: In 2007 deposition.


Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • Today in Trump: Obstruction of justice anyone?

    It's the New York Times with the news today. Fired FBI Director James Comey kept notes of his talks with Donald Trump. A memo he wrote in February after a meeting with Trump said the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation