Back in May 2012, John H. Spooner shot and killed Darius Simmons, Jr. in front of his mother Patricia Larry. Mr. Spooner shot Darius as he was taking out the garbage because Mr. Spooner erroneously believed that Darius stole his property. Following a criminal trial, Mr. Spooner was convicted of first degree intentional homicide. Mr. Spooner is appealing his conviction.
For the purpose of obtaining additional justice for Darius Simmons, Jr. and his mother, the Milwaukee civil right lawyers of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. filed a civil lawsuit against Mr. Spooner, both for the death of Darius and for the severe emotional distress suffered by Ms. Larry as a result of witnessing the shooting and because Mr. Spooner negligently waived his gun in her direction during the incident, causing Ms. Larry to fear that he was going to shoot her as well.
In attempt to resolve the case without a trial because there is no factual dispute regarding Mr. Spooner’s actions due to the fact that the incident was caught on video, SKS Attorney Jonathan S. Safran moved for summary judgment regarding Mr. Spooner’s liability. On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, the Court held a hearing on the motion. Prior to the hearing, Attorney Safran filed a letter with the Court indicating that Mr. Spooner failed to respond to requests seeking admissions as to his liability. Under Wisconsin law, Mr. Spooner’s failure to respond to those requests within 30 days means that he has admitted the requests. After receiving Attorney Safran’s letter, Mr. Spooner’s lawyer served late responses to the requests, and then claimed at the hearing that he was unaware of the requests, despite the fact that the requests were properly served upon Mr. Spooner. The Court decided to adjourn the hearing until July 2, 2014, so that Mr. Spooner’s lawyer can prepare an argument with respect to Mr. Spooner’s failure to timely respond to the requests for admission. Please continue to follow this site for updates on the case.