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Parents of Milwaukee boy shot by neighbor win civil case

John Henry Spooner (left) pleaded not guilty and waived his right for a preliminary hearing in the May 31 killing of Darius Simmons, 13, during a hearing Monday in Milwaukee. Spooner is charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and will stand trial in the fatal shooting of his 13-year-old neighbor, shown in a photo held by his mother, Patricia Larry. (AP File Photos)

A Milwaukee County judge has awarded Patricia Larry (right) $1.2 million in a civil case against John Henry Spooner (left), who was convicted of killing Larry’s son, Darius Simmons. (AP File Photos)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The parents of a 13-year-old Milwaukee boy who was fatally shot by an elderly neighbor have won a civil judgment against the convicted killer.

A Milwaukee County judge set damages at $1.2 million for Patricia Larry, mother of Darius Simmons, and $300,000 for the boy’s father, Darius Simmons Sr.

The Journal Sentinel reports that state caps such damages at $500,000, so the judge apportioned $400,000 to Larry and $100,000 to Simmons.

Larry’s attorney, Jonathan Safran, said collecting damages from 77-year-old John Spooner is unlikely because he’s serving life in prison. But, Safran said the judgment ensures that any assets discovered in Spooner’s estate will go to the boy’s parents.

Spooner suspected the boy had burglarized his home, so he confronted and shot the teen in front of his mother.

Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

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