Warren family settles wrongful death case before trial
After nearly two and a half years, Brenda and Arthur Warren of Grant Town, W. Va., have found what their lawyer calls closure. Satisfied they have cleared the name of their murdered son, they are settling a wrongful death lawsuit against his teenage killers.
J.R. Warren, a 26-year-old gay black man, was beaten and then crushed under a Camaro in July 2000 by two drunk, angry teens. Both are now behind bars, one serving a minimum of 15 years for first-degree murder. The Warrens filed the civil action in June, upset that in defending themselves, the killers had portrayed their son as a sexual predator.
"He was not a predator. He was a victim," Brenda Warren said Monday. "This was all to set the record straight. J.R. was not able to speak for himself, so we have to speak for him."
The order dismissing the case should be entered later this week, family attorney Paul T. Farrell said. He would not disclose the amount of the financial settlement with the insurance companies and the four defendants except to call it substantial. "It's a global settlement with all the defendants for all of the insurance I could find," he said.
The lawsuit named Jared Matthew Wilson and David Allen Parker, the admitted killers, as well as a 15-year-old witness who helped conceal evidence and Parker's father, William, who later filed for bankruptcy. Farrell said a portion of the settlement will be used to create a scholarship, probably at the West Virginia University College of Law, for law students who are passionate about social justice.