- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The family of a Pierre teenager who was killed after an argument over a paintball incident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the classmate who shot him and that teen’s father, alleging both are responsible and should pay a combined $6 million.

The family of Dalton Williams filed the lawsuit Wednesday against 18-year-old Braiden McCahren and his father, Lee “Kit” McCahren, KCCR-AM (https://bit.ly/1yNsC3G ) reported.

Braiden McCahren was sentenced to 15 years in prison last month after he was found guilty of second-degree murder for the death Williams, who was 16. Last week, Sixth Circuit Judge John Brown recalculated McCahren’s eligibility for parole and determined he could get out of prison in about six years.

Attorneys for Braiden McCahren this week filed notice that they plan to appeal his murder conviction to the South Dakota Supreme Court. Defense attorney Michael Butler has said a judge’s ruling to allow the jury to consider lesser charges against McCahren at the last minute violated his constitutional rights. Butler argued during the trial that the shooting was an accident.

Lee McCahren declined comment to the news station about the new lawsuit Wednesday and did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment from The Associated Press.

In the lawsuit, the Dalton family alleges that Williams’ death was caused by the “intentional and reckless” acts of Braiden McCahren.

The document says that after McCahren shot Williams, the defendant not only “consciously declined to render aid but, rather, sought to protect himself and to meet his own needs, including walking over Dalton Williams, moving firearms, and eating food while Dalton Williams laid on the floor dying in the same room.”

Because of that action, the lawsuit alleges, Williams incurred pain and suffering before he died.

The family of Williams accuses Lee McCahren, who the lawsuit says was in Sioux Falls at the time of the shooting, of leaving his 16-year-old son unsupervised with access to guns.

“Based on Defendant Braiden McCahren’s history of aggressive, reckless and delinquent conduct, Defendant Kit McCahren knew or should have known to prohibit and/or prevent access to guns or other dangerous weapons, without supervision, to Defendant Braiden McCahren.”

In a statement, Rose Ann Wendell, a Pierre-based attorney representing Williams’ family, said the family is seeking “further justice for the cruel and horrific murder” of Williams.

“The family assigns equal responsibility for the murder to Braiden McCahren and to Kit McCahren, who negligently ignored all the warning signs of a disturbed young man and failed to ensure that he was properly supervised,” she said.

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Information from: KCCR-AM, https://www.todayskccr.com/

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