Settlement reached in civil suit between family of Jamie Richards and former apartment owner.
After a week of testimony in the civil suit between the family of shooting victim Jamie Richards and Monarch, the company that once owned Oak Tree Apartments, a settlement between the parties was reached.
Kyle Findley, the attorney representing the family, said the defendant’s attorneys approached them Tuesday morning about a possible agreement.
The settlement amount is not being disclosed, but a source told Beneath the Surface News that it is “a significant amount.”
Jamie’s family was inside the courtroom when the settlement was announced.
I spoke with Jamie’s mother, Jessica Hogland, after the case was settled. She said Jamie filed the civil suit prior to her passing.
“The family elected to continue (the lawsuit) on her behalf,” Findley said.
Jessica said the seven days of testimony was “very emotional” and that Jamie filed the civil suit because she wanted to help prevent this from ever happening to anyone else.
Now that it’s over, Jessica said the family will focus on ways to keep Jamie’s memory alive by possibly establishing a foundation in her name or legacy scholarship at Tarleton State University.
“We are still trying to decide what we will do,” she said. “We love Stephenville. This was a very important place to Jamie.”
Jamie was a 19-year-old pre-nursing major at Tarleton when she was shot in the face at point-blank range after answering a knock at her Oak Tree apartment in December 2017.
Monarch owned Oak Tree Apartments at the time of the shooting, but has since sold the complex.
“(Monarch) put profits over safety. They were more worried about their bottom line than putting in any type of safety measures to prevent crime,” Findley told jurors in opening statements. “These defendants utterly failed this family.”
The shooter, Shawn Patrick Layton, was found guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The shooting left Jamie a quadriplegic. She passed away in 2021 after battling leukemia.