- via Harris County Sheriff's Office
- A mugshot of Ex-St. Louis cop Jason Stockley from his May 2016 arrest.
A second settlement in the police killing of Anthony Lamar Smith awards his young daughter another $500,000.
Smith was shot to death by St. Louis police Officer Jason Stockley in 2011. His family sued for wrongful death and initially agreed to a $900,000 settlement, but that was before they learned there was DNA evidence that could have helped them in the original negotiations.
Stockley and his partner pursued Smith after spotting what they claimed was a parking lot drug deal. At the end of the high-speed chase, Stockley walked to Smith's car window and shot him at close range. The officer claimed Smith was getting ready to shoot him.
The St. Louis Circuit Attorney charged Stockley
with murder in 2016, alleging in part that DNA found on a Taurus pistol supposedly recovered from Smith's car proved the cop had planted the gun after the shooting.
Judge Timothy Wilson found Stockley not guilty
in September 2017, concluding that the gun was probably Smith's because, in his experience, "an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly." The verdict set off months of protests with after effects still playing out in court
Attorney Albert Watkins, who represented Smith's daughter, has argued that the DNA evidence would have been vital in the civil suit.
A third-party investigation conducted by attorney Hal Goldsmith
at the request of Attorney General Josh Hawley found that at least one attorney for the A.G.'s office, who represented the city, knew about the DNA in the case but never disclosed it to the family. Watkins said he was only able to confirm it existed through the criminal case.
He was ultimately able to use the new admission to open a new round of settlement talks. The latest agreement, which brings the total payout to Smith's survivors to $1.4 million, was signed on Monday.
It splits the new $500,000 payment evenly between the city and the state. The deal preserves the city's right to seek reimbursement from the state, but it also mentions the state doesn't think the city is entitled to it. The agreement also calls for the release of Goldsmith's full report.
An attorney for Smith's mother filed a motion to collect a portion of the settlement, but Watkins argued that she was too late and the money should go to Smith's daughter.
We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
- Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.