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Parents of 13-Year-Old Black Boy Shοt by 76-Year-Old White Man, Awarded $1.5M In Damages

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Patricia Larry and Darius Simmons were awarded damages for the shooting d e a t h of their son Darius

Patricia Larry

Reported by Nigel Boys

Although John Henry Spooner, 76, was found guilty of first-degree intentional hοmicide by a jury in July 2013, after fatally shooting 13-year-old Darius Simmons, a judge has only now awarded the boy’s parents compensation.

Thirteen-year-old Simmons of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was fatally shot in the chest in front of his mother after denying that he stole shotguns from Spooner’s house when confronted by the older man. Spooner’s own home surveillance video was shown in court by prosecutors during the trial, which proved beyond a doubt that he was guilty as charged.

Patricia Larry and Darius Simmons Sr., the parents of the victim, received justice in court when Spooner was given the life sentence with no chance of parole, but they were left bereaved and empty handed over the loss of their son.

Circuit Court Judge Kevin Martens decided this week that the grieving parents should have some form of compensation for their loss, so he awarded them $1.5 million, the larger sum of $1.2 million to go to Larry and the father to receive $300,000.

However, because Wisconsin law puts a limit on the amount of damages that can be awarded at $500,000, Martens apportioned $400,000 to go to Larry and $100,000 to Simmons Sr.

Although Spooner has already been ordered to pay over $51,000 in hospital and medical expenses to the family and around $7,300 for funeral costs, he is unlikely to be able to meet the courts stipulated compensation because of his old age and life imprisonment.

While Jonathan Safran, the attorney for Larry, acknowledges that fact, he assures that any assets discovered from Spooner’s estate will go towards Simmons parents.

Safran went on to say that the matter regarding Simmons fatal shooting is far from over as he still expects to sue the city because the police kept Larry away from her son in his dying moments. He added that she was only allowed to see her son at the hospital after he had been declared dead for almost an hour.

Spooner said during his trial that he was left with no other choice but to shoot Simmons, because he suspected he was the culprit who had burglarized his home two days earlier. He added that he had been pushed over the edge and didn’t know if he had done right or wrong.

However, Judge Jeffrey Wagner put Spooner in his place when he told him that he had definitely done wrong, because he had taken the life of a child.