MORGANTOWN — The family of a woman shot and killed by police asked for a new civil trial, saying alternate jurors were allowed to participate in the first trial.
However, an attorney for the county countered the jury ruled heavily in their favor and it can’t be argued that the alternate jurors impacted the fairness and integrity of the trial.
Last year, a jury found Christie Cathers most liable in a civil suit related to her death. While they ruled the county — in terms of Monongalia County Sherriff’s deputies and MECCA 911 dispatchers — was neglect, they said Cathers was 87 percent at fault.
In June 2015, deputies shot and killed Cathers, following a chase. Deputies were initially called to a brandishing report at a housing development off Harner Run Road. They stopped Cather’s vehicle as she tried to drive away.
When two deputies approached, she drove off, nearly striking one deputy with her car. Another deputy fired his gun, hitting the vehicle, but not Cathers.
The chase ensued and ended on Finch/Snyder Run Road, when a deputy fired into her car, killing her. Deputies said the shots were fired as Cathers’ car struck a police cruiser.
A grand jury declined to bring charges against the deputies involved.
The Cathers family filed a civil lawsuit alleging negligence by the sheriff’s department and the 911 dispatchers.
The family recently filed a request and asked for a new trial. Lawyers for the family say that alternate jurors were allowed to participate in deliberations and one served as foreman.