Judge Approves Culpeper Police Shooting Settlement

A judge has approved a $300,000 settlement of a lawsuit stemming from a fatal police shooting in Culpeper.

Media outlets report that the family of Patricia Ann Cook will receive about $170,000 from the settlement. Nearly $130,000 will cover attorney's fees.

Cook, 54, was shot five times by former Culpeper police officer Daniel Harmon-Wright on Feb. 9, 2012, following an altercation in the parking lot of Epiphany Catholic School. Harmon-Wright testified during his trial that he thought Cook was a threat to public safety and said he fired several rounds when she tried to close her window on his arm and drive away.

But Gregory Webb, an attorney for the victim's husband, said during the trial that Cook posed no threat to the officer.

"She had a manual, roll-up window -- the old crank kind," Webb said. "To catch one's arm in that, from a common sense standpoint, doesn't make sense to me."

Harmon-Wright was convicted on three charges, including voluntary manslaughter, in January 2013. He is serving three years in prison.

Cook's brother, John Weigler, filed the wrongful death lawsuit.

The settlement approved Tuesday by Culpeper Circuit Court Judge Susan Whitlock was between Weigler, on behalf of Cook's estate, and the town of Culpeper's former insurance carrier.

The settlement also dismissed civil claims against Harmon-Wright, Police Chief Chris Jenkins and former Police Chief Dan Boring.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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