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Bentonville Man Ordered to Pay $20,000

Law firm partner Drew Miller recently represented a local police officer in a civil suit relating to a 2010 shooting death of a Benton County man. The civil suit arose out of a use of lethal force case in which our client discharged his firearm ultimately taking the life of the man after a high speed car chase. Our client previously pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, a misdemeanor that was kept off his record.

In the civil suit, the family of the deceased sought damages for use of excessive force including compensatory and punitive damages, costs of the legal action, attorney’s fees and other relief. The officer had previously told investigators that he made the decision to use lethal force because he feared that the driver of the vehicle involved in the high speed chase was going to try and back up over him after the officer exited his car. At trial the court awarded the family $20,000 in loss of life, but awarded no further money for use of excessive force or punitive damages.

Mr. Miller stated after trial that his client “had to go through a lot…that’s the price of being a police officer”. He also went on to say that the money award to the family ultimately showed that “the jury believed [my client] is a pretty good guy”.

Mr. Miller’s primary practice focuses on criminal defense but he also has an established civil litigation practice which he continues to carry on today.

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