Judge to decide $14 million 'Lizard Man' suit

Posted at: 04/12/2013 8:36 AM
By: The Associated Press

 LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A federal judge says he will render a verdict as soon as possible in the $14 million wrongful death suit filed by the family of a samurai sword-wielding man shot and killed by a Las Cruces Police officer.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the case went to U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory B. Wormuth Thursday after three days of trial. Hummell, a 23-year-old known as "Lizard Man," died shortly after Las Cruces police officer Horacio Rivera shot him four times with an AR-15 rifle.

Rivera has said Hummell "lunged" at him and another officer.

The District Attorney's Office cleared police of criminal wrongdoing. But a 2011 lawsuit by Hummell's father alleged gross negligence.

And a retired lawman testified police acted too quickly after Hummell made one step in their direction. The city argued the officers acted properly, responding to deadly force with deadly force.

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