Family awarded $5M in suit against Houston brothers

Family awarded $5M in wrongful death suit against Houston brothers

Posted:

CROSSVILLE (WATE) - A jury awarded $5 million in damages in a lawsuit brought by the family of an ex-officer who was killed in a shootout with the Houston brothers.

Former police officer Mike Brown and his friend, Roane County Deputy Bill Jones, were killed in May 2006 in a shootout with Leon and Rocky Houston. It happened at Leon's home in Roane County when Deputy Jones tried to serve a warrant.

The trial in the wrongful death suit against the Houstons was moved to Cumberland County. It ended Tuesday after about an hour of deliberation.

The jury's verdict was in favor of Mike Brown's mother, Pat Brown. Jurors awarded punitive damages of $2.5 million for each defendant, for a total of $5 million, and compensatory damages of $540,000.

The Houstons were never present at the civil trial.

The brothers were charged with first degree murder in Roane County after the shootout. Rocky Houston's first trial ended in a hung jury on one charge and a not guilty verdict on the other in December 2008.

Leon's first trial also ended in a mistrial in July 2008. He was acquitted in his second trial in November 2009.

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the charges against Rocky Houston in March 2010.

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