Reed Bingham lawsuit in court of appeals - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Reed Bingham lawsuit in court of appeals

October 10, 2008

By Alicia Eakin

Adel, GA (WALB) - The family of a man killed at a South Georgia state park wants to move forward with a lawsuit that was thrown out of court twice. The lawsuit accused a park ranger of wrongful death and excessive use of force in the death of robbery suspect, 20 year-old Curtis Wright. The case is back in court.

It's been nearly three years since that fatal day at Reed Bingham State Park. It's a day that's been with Park Manager Chet Powell ever since.

"That will never be gone completely but we are trying to think on positive things and worked towards the future," Powell says.

In December 2005, Powell tried to arrest 20 year-old Curtis Wright for breaking into a vending machine.

Reports say Wright tried to stab him with a screwdriver and reached for his gun. Powell shot him in the chest.

The GBI cleared Powell of all charges, saying he acted in self defense. In November, a judge agreed and tossed out the family's lawsuit.

Then the family appealed in January, it was thrown out again.

But this week, it was back before a panel of judges in the 11th Circuit US Court of Appeals.

"Pretty much we thought the case was over but there was another appeal and we went through that process," Powell says.

Powell hopes this stop will be the last for the case. He says it's a past that haunts him everyday

"Sometimes its worse then others but its always there. The Attorney Generals office has handled it very well and I've been very comfortable with the way they handled things."

He looks forward to the moving on, but the appeal could take several month for the judges to rule on the suit.

Attorneys for Wright and Powell were all unable to comment on the case Friday.

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