A 54-year-old Colorado Springs man has just been given a sentence of 37 years in prison for the shooting death of his tenant last January. In July, the shooter was convicted of second-degree murder in addition to menacing with a weapon.
The victim, a 38-year-old man, was shot in the abdomen after an altercation at the residence he rented from the shooter. According to authorities, several men rented and shared the home and were all there when the assault happened. Roommates told officers that the two men began to argue after the victim made a comment to the other man about his girlfriend. The men then began to argue in another room when the roommates heard a gun fire and then witnessed their friend fall down.
Although the shooter reportedly cooperated with police, the senselessness of this crime led the victim's family to file a wrongful death suit against the homeowner. The initial hearing on that charge is scheduled in El Paso County at a later date.
The victim leaves behind three children. While their exact situation is not known, one of the basic elements needed for a wrongful death lawsuit is the financial struggle of the surviving family members. It is likely that the death of this Colorado Springs man has caused financial hardship to his surviving children. Compensation awarded to the family through a wrongful death lawsuit may ease the financial burden of losing a supporting parent. The jury in a wrongful death case may also recommend awarding the family members compensation for medical care or funeral expenses for the deceased.
There are many factors to consider before filing a wrongful death lawsuit. While a conviction is not necessary in criminal cases, it may help that in this case, a jury has already sentenced the man responsible. Under certain circumstances, a wrongful death lawsuit can help families recoup lost earnings resulting from the death of a supporting parent. To find out if a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate for your situation, consult a trusted attorney.
Source: The Gazette, "Colorado Springs man who killed his tenant is sentenced," Kassondra Cloos, Oct. 16, 2015