- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Defense rests in Va. Tech wrongful-death trial
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) — The state rested Tuesday after witnesses in a wrongful-death lawsuit testified that Virginia Tech officials acted properly on April 16, 2007, when a lone gunman killed 32 on the Blacksburg campus and then himself.
Attorneys for the state, the lone defendant in the civil trial, presented only a fraction of the 50 potential witnesses they had listed in court filings. Lawyers for the parents of two students slain in the attacks planned to present a rebuttal witness.
The defense on Monday called to the stand Virginia Tech officials, police and experts on campus security who all agreed that campus police and school administrators did the right thing when they concluded the first two shootings were domestic and isolated. As a result, they delayed alerting students and faculty on campus because they believed the dorm attack was targeted and the gunman did not pose a threat to the wider campus.
University officials have said there was no way to anticipate the deadliest campus shootings in modern U.S. history.
The parents of students Karen W. Pryde and Erin Nicole Peterson disagree. They persisted in bringing the lawsuit because they believe their daughters would have survived Cho’s attack if the campus had known of the first two shootings, which ultimately resulted in the deaths of both victims.
Attorneys for the parents, who each are seeking $100,000, also contend that President Charles W. Steger and other university officials attempted to cover their missteps. They have denied that.
Attorneys are expected to battle over instructions to the jurors who heard the case, which began March 5. The issue involves what threat level university officials should have heeded on the morning of April 16 in alerting the campus — imminent or foreseeable.
A state panel that investigated the shootings concluded that officials erred in not sending an alert earlier. The lag in issuing a campus warning also brought Virginia Tech a $55,000 fine from the U.S. Education Department. The school is appealing.
The Prydes and the Petersons were the only eligible families who didn’t accept their share of an $11 million state settlement.
While the damages are capped at $100,000, jurors will not be told of the cap before they begin their deliberations.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- EDITORIAL: Harry Reid's corrupt Senate house of cards
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again