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Parents' Suit Blocked in Police Killing of Unarmed Man


January 1993

A lawsuit by the parents of a 25-year-old Texas man killed when an undercover drug sting went awry was thrown out by a state district judge after the parents, who are divorced, failed to agree on a single suit against the accused state narcotics agent (Dan Malone, "Slain Man's Father Decries Courts: Judge Blocks Parents' Lawsuits Over Son's Death in Drug Bust," Dallas Morning News, 11/17/92, 1A).

Tim Evans was unarmed when shot to death at close range by Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Glenn Eldridge on February 27, 1990. During the incident, Eldridge, posing as a drug dealer, entered the apartment of a drug suspect to make a buy, and Tim Evans emerged from a bedroom armed with a pistol. Without revealing his identity, Eldridge persuaded Evans to put the gun away, and tried unsuccessfully to contact colleagues outside using a distress signal with a transmitter that failed. He then persuaded Evans and the suspect to leave the apartment. On the way out, Eldridge struck Evans in the head with his pistol and then fatally shot him. Eldridge contended he shot in self-defense during a struggle, while the Evanses alleged that their son was only trying to fend off further blows by an assailant he thought was a drug dealer.

The case may end up in the state Court of Appeals, according to State District Judge John Marshall, who dismissed the case on procedural grounds.