PASCAGOULA, MS – Linda Bell Porter is seeking $10 million in a civil lawsuit against the owners of a Moss Point gas station where her husband was shot to death during a robbery in October 2008, according to the suit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Porter’s husband, Michael David Porter, 44, was shot to death the evening of Oct. 23, 2008, after he and his wife stopped at the Conoco gas station and convenience store on Mississippi 63 in Moss Point to ask for directions.
The shooting occurred shortly before 7 p.m. in the parking lot of the store, adjacent to a package liquor store. Porter is suing Kang Bak Veng, manager of the Conoco gas station where the shooting occurred, and Ken Koan, manager of the 63 Package Store, and Loc V. Ha, the owner of the property.
Darwin M. Wells, 16, one of the teens accused of killing Porter, is on trial this week in Jackson County. Jury selection ended Tuesday evening. Also charged with capital murder in the slaying are Moss Point residents Terry Hye Jr., 15 and Tevin James Benjamin, 14. Each of the teens is being tried separately. If convicted, they could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison.
In the civil suit, Porter alleges negligent security. The suit claims that a witness was overheard saying that the teens allegedly involved in the killing had been loitering outside the business in the rain for some time prior to the shooting.
The defendants were negligent, the suit said, in part because there is “woefully” insufficient lighting at the establishment and security was inadequate because the teens were able to loiter there though the defendants had “actual or constructive” knowledge of previous crimes in that area.
In addition, the suit alleges negligent supervision on the part of the adults responsible for the teens charged.
“Each adult responsible for each juvenile involved in the murder of Michael David Porter breached their duty to supervise that juvenile and/or breached the duty to prohibit access to the handgun used to commit the murder,” the suit said. “…The damages were entirely foreseeable as each of these juveniles had an extensive criminal record as well as access to a firearm.”
Porter is seeking $5 million each in compensatory and punitive damages. The defendants named in the suit could not be reached for comment.
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