DEVELOPING: Survivors of slain California family in catfish case plan to sue Washington County for $100 million
The survivors of a Southern California family killed by a former Washington County, Virginia deputy intend to seek $100 million in damages from the locality.
County Administrator Jason Berry informed the supervisor board of the notice of a suit being issued by the Taylor and Ring legal firm secured by the family.
The family is accusing the county of gross negligence for hiring Austin Lee Edwards who killed three family members in November while kidnapping a teen girl he catfished online. Police said he committed suicide in the Mojave Desert when he came under fire from officers.
Attorney David Ring told the Los Angeles Times the only way to obtain legal documents from the Virginia State Police, Edwards’ original employer before Washington County, was to force them to with legal action.
Previous information released by officials said Edwards was admitted to a mental health facility in 2016 but State Police still hired him. State Police claimed human error allowed Edwards’ profile to slip through guidelines.
(IMAGE: From the archives of Bristol Broadcasting Co.)