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Jury awards $4 to family of man shot, killed by St. Lucie County deputy

Posted at 9:41 PM, Jun 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-02 16:36:28-04

Four dollars. That’s the amount a jury decided to award a family after a man was shot and killed by a St. Lucie County deputy.

The $4 is to go toward funeral expenses and pain and suffering after Greg Hill Jr.’s family sued the sheriff’s office for excessive force and wrongful death amongst other complaints.

Hill’s fiance at the time of his death, Terrica Davis, calls the settlement a slap in the face.

She remembers the day of the shooting in 2014.

“Every police car in the county was there. It was hard getting through there saying this is my house, I’m trying to see what’s going on,” Davis said.

The shooting resulted from what started as a noise complaint from a mother across the street.

Deputies said Hill was heavily intoxicated, playing loud and profane music from his home across the street from a school.

Investigators said Deputy Christopher Newman said he shot at Hill multiple times after seeing a gun when Hill partially opened his garage door, then closed it.

Newman fired through the door, killing Hill.

“I just knew my world was over the moment they gave me those words,” Davis said.

An attorney representing Hill’s estate and family said evidence suggested the unloaded gun never left Hill’s back pocket.

Still, a jury decided the deputy’s actions were justified.

“I don’t believe he was any threat to those officers. This is a guy that’s getting married in two months. This is a guy who knows his daughter is across the street at school,” Davis said.

Jurors listened to dozens of witnesses before deciding Hill, a father of three, was 99 percent responsible for his own death.

“A slap win the face, like how can you value someone life at $4. How can you give $1 to each child for pain and suffering. For God's sake, we’re talking about kids. Little kids,” Davis said.

Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a statement, “Newman was placed in a very difficult situation and like so many fellow law enforcement officers must do every day, he made the best decision he could for the safety of his partner, himself and the public given the circumstances he faced.”

Hill’s family plan to appeal the ruling.

They also say funeral expenses exceeded $10,000.

“I'm going to fight until I can’t fight anymore,” Davis said.