A lawsuit filed in federal court by the family of a Houma teen who died of gunshot wounds fired by a Terrebonne Parish deputy has ended with a settlement reached between the family’s attorneys and those representing the Terrebonne Sheriff’s Office.
“The Court having been advised by counsel that all parties have firmly agreed upon a compromise in this matter,” U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo wrote, “it is ordered that this action be and it is hereby dismissed as to all parties…”
A settlement amount has not been announced.
Bill Dodd, the attorney who represented the Sheriff’s Office, said he could not confirm a settlement amount as of yet. Upon questioning he said that if the case had gone to trial the additional legal cost to the Sheriff’s insurer would have been likely between $50,000 and $70,000.
The trial was to have commenced April 9.
Triche ordered the dismissal Wednesday morning in connection with the Sept. 23, 2014 death of Cameron Tillman, who was a student at Ellender Memorial High School, in the doorway of an abandoned ranch-style house in the Village East subdivision, used as a clubhouse by the teen and his friends.
Preston Norman and Andrew Lewis were among the first responding deputies to a call from neighbors alleging armed black youths walking down the street and entering the house. According to a report later compiled by Louisiana State Police investigators, Norman knocked on a door located inside a carport.
The report states that Tillman opened the door while holding a realistic replica of a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol pointed toward Norman, who fired his weapon, felling the teen.
The State Police report was among the evidence presented to a Terrebonne Parish grand jury by District Attorney Joe Waitz Jr. The grand jury cleared officers of wrongdoing.
The teen’s grief-stricken mother, Wyteika Tillman filed suit against both officers and Larpenter a year after the incident occurred, alleging violations of federal civil rights.
Attorney Carol Lexing was lead counsel representing the Tillmans.The suit alleged that Tillman did not have the simulated weapon in his hand as stated in the report, and raised other issues concerning how the case was handled.