Rapper Young Jeezy Jenkins, concert promoter Live Nation and others, are facing a wrongful death lawsuit. This lawsuit is in connection with the 2014 fatal shooting of concert promoter Eric Johnson at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. The shooting happened on Aug. 22, 2014 backstage during the tour’s stop at Mountain View according to a CBS news report. Law enforcement received multiple calls that night of shots fired at the venue near the end of the rap concert. Johnson was shot several times and died at the hospital.
An Unsolved Crime
Media reports stated that Johnson and Jenkins’s entourage got into a dispute after Jenkins refused to show up at a concert after-party. Jenkins and members of his entourage were arrested on gun possession charges in Irvine, Calif. They were charged with possession of the weapon, but Jenkins and his associates were never implicated in the shooting. Eventually, all charges were dropped. Police so far have not identified any one as being the murder suspect in Johnson’s shooting. The case remains unsolved.
Family members are filing the lawsuit “to get the answers they deserve,” according to a press release issued on their behalf. An attorney for Johnson’s children said only after filing a civil lawsuit, conducting an extensive investigation and taking sworn testimony from two independent eyewitnesses who were working at the concert did they learn that Young Jeezy “had been identified as the killer,” the release stated.
Murder Versus Wrongful Death
A murder charge is filed by the state in the criminal courts. However, wrongful death lawsuits are civil actions, usually filed by the estate or relatives of the deceased on the basis that the defendant is responsible for the deceased’s death through a careless, deliberate or negligent act. These types of wrongful death lawsuits may be based on an act that also constitutes murder. But, in a wrongful death lawsuit, the only available remedy is financial recovery. In the criminal courts, if the defendant is found guilty, he or she is punished with prison time. However, in a wrongful death case, the defendant is found “liable” and made to pay monetary compensation to the decedent’s survivors.
Wrongful death lawsuits have a different burden of proof than criminal cases. The plaintiff’s attorney must prove that the defendant is responsible for the death by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means that there is at least a 51 percent probability that the defendant committed the acts. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must establish “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant committed the crime. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiffs must prove negligence or wrongdoing. However, in a murder trial, the prosecution must prove criminal intent.
Contact an Experienced Sacramento Wrongful Death Attorney
Often times, a wrongful death lawsuit is the only way for victims’ survivors to get justice and hold wrongdoers accountable. However, the process can be extremely complicated. It takes an experienced Sacramento wrongful death attorney to help victims’ families navigate what can be a complex legal process. Call the Demas Law Group P.C., at (916) 444-0100 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.