Former Little Rock police officer Joshua Hastings, who in April was found civilly liable for the 2012 shooting death of 15-year-old Bobby Moore III, was ordered Friday to pay $382,585.65 in attorney's fees and costs to Moore's mother, Sylvia Perkins.
Little Rock attorney Austin Porter Jr., one of the attorneys who represented Perkins at the civil jury trial in April, said Friday that the costs and fees are due by Hastings individually and will not be paid by the city or its former police chief, Stuart Thomas, who were dismissed as defendants before the wrongful death case went to trial.
Hastings, 31, may not be able to pay the $415,000 jury award against him, let alone the additional cost of attorney's fees that prevailing parties are often awarded afterward, Porter conceded Friday. But he noted that Perkins has appealed the pretrial dismissal of the city and its former police chief to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Miller found Perkins' attorneys hadn't shown that the city or Thomas had a demonstrated "pattern or practice" of using excessive force.
If the 8th Circuit reverses Miller's dismissal of the city and Thomas, Perkins will again be able to pursue each defendant. That would likely result in a trial to determine whether either should be held liable for Hastings' actions on the night of Aug. 12, 2012, and if so, to what extent.
Hastings, who was a delivery driver at the time of the jury verdict, shot and killed Moore in 2012 outside the Shadow Lake Apartments at 13111 W. Markham St., while he and another police officer were investigating an early morning report of car break-ins in the parking lot.
Hastings said he saw three teens jump into a car to try and flee. He said he emerged from behind a dumpster and was standing in front of the car when he thought the teens were trying to run over him, causing him to fear for his life and fire three shots into the car.
The shots hit Moore, the driver, killing him.
The other two teens testified at the trial that the car was in reverse at the time of the shooting, and they weren't heading toward Hastings.
Hastings, the son of a police captain, was fired by the department for violating departmental rules during the shooting. He was later tried twice on a manslaughter charge, resulting in hopelessly deadlocked juries both times, leading to prosecutors dismissing the case.
Metro on 10/21/2017
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