Lawsuit settlement in Columbus 2014 shooting death - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lawsuit settlement in Columbus 2014 shooting death

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – A jury reaches a verdict years after a Columbus man was shot and killed.

The jury awarding Markeese Hodge's family millions of dollars after filing a lawsuit claiming the property owners at Cross Keys Apartments were responsible for their son's death in August 2014.

A jury recently ruling that McCorlew Realty, the company that runs Cross Keys Apartments in south Columbus, was 90 percent responsible for Markeese Hodge's death in August 2014.

In the lawsuit, Attorneys representing Hodge's family claimed that prior to the night he was shot, the company had been warned about past crimes occurring at the complex.

"The property management company was aware they had a problem unit. Three days after they sent the notice to vacate that unit, there was a shooting on the property,” said Scott Campbell, the attorney representing Hodge's family.

That shooting happened on July 26, 2014, and three people were shot at the complex on Baker Plaza Drive.

"After that shooting, all the property management company did was call the Columbus Police and ask to put them on a business watch - meaning, 'Hey, keep an eye on our property,” Campbell said.

Hodge's parents sued the company, claiming it failed to add adequate security measures to the complex before Hodge was shot at a party his friend hosted on August 6 that year.

The jury ultimately awarding Hodge's parents' $1.5 million on a wrongful death claim, $500,000 for pain and suffering, and $2.5 million in punitive damages.

Since then, neighbors say there's been barely any police presence or private security hired by property owners to help keep the street safe.

"I see things that go on in the streets as far as security and things like that, ever since that incident, they haven't done anything. They drive through a little bit, but that's about it. They probably don't even drive through as much anymore. It's just when something bad happens,” said neighbor Chagarius Simmons.

Evidence from the trial shows the property owners did, in fact, hire a security guard and installed security cameras after Hodge's death.

We've confirmed attorneys for both parties reached a settlement both parties agreed to.

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