Attorney Carlos Moore and his client, Yvette Mason-Sherman, altered some key facts in the lawsuit they filed against Wayne Parish in Hinds County Circuit Court. Mason-Sherman sued Wayne Parish, his business partner Jimmy Ratcliff, and Performance Oil for wrongful death in the death of her son. Parish shot and killed 17 year-old Charles McDonald, Jr. during a struggle over a gun at Performance Oil on McDowell Road on July 21, 2016. A Hinds County grand jury indicted him for first degree murder in October. He is free on a $50,000 bond.
Yvette Mason-Sherman attempted to take her son to the Henley-Young Youth Detention Center on the day of his death. The troubled young man figured out where he was going and jumped out of the car and ran away. Troubled because his mother said he had been at Henley-Young eight times in the last two years.
Performance Oil is next door to the detention center. The security camera video (posted below) shows McDonald walking across the property of Performance Oil. A Lexus ES350 attracted his interest. He picked up an object and apparently tried to smash open a window and gain access to the vehicle.
The video shows Mr. Parish coming out of the office and confronting McDonald. The police report states the Vice-President of Performance Oil was carrying a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver. Mr. Parish chases McDonald around the car. McDonald then charges at the businessman. There is a struggle and both men are apparently fighting over the gun. McDonald crumples to the ground when shots are fired as the rounds struck him in the upper torso. A pick-up truck pulls up and a woman who knew the deceased gets out of the vehicle. Police arrived on the scene within two minutes. The police report states that Mr. Parish submitted to an interview and was not charged with a crime. It also states the case was sent to a grand jury.
There were two outstanding warrants for McDonald's arrest at the time of the shooting. One involved a police chase. The motion for bond states that he was "involved in a house burglary and almost shot by homeowner."
The original complaint first stated that McDonald was an "invitee" to the premises. The plaintiffs admit that the teen grabbed the gun and struggled. However, Mr. Moore invokes some premises liability to impute liability to the defendants:
12. At all times pertinent Decedent was an invitee of the Defendants. As an invitee, the Defendants owed a duty to Decedent and other invitees to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner and to warn of known dangers.However, the amended complaint changes the classification of the deceased from an invitee to a trespasser:
13. As a direct and proximate cause of the Defendants' failure to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner, Decedent was injured. He experienced excruciating pain and expired on July 21, 2016. Plaintiffs experienced and continue to experience excruciating pain and suffering as a result of the death of Decedent.
14. Defendants failed to provide adequate security which would have deterred Defendant Parish from exiting the store, in possession of a firearm, posing and ultimately causing harm and the death of Decedent...
15. Defendants, at all times relevant hereto, failed to provide reasonable and adequate protection for Plaintiff and other invitees on the premises despite their knowledge, actual or otherwise about the danger existing there.
12. At all times pertinent Decedent was a trespasser of the Defendants. As a trespasser, the Defendants owed a duty to Decedent to refrain from causing willful and wanton injury.
13. As a direct and proximate cause of the Defendants’ failure to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner, Decedent was willfully and wantonly injured. He experienced excruciating pain and expired on July 21, 2016. Plaintiff experienced and continues to experience excruciating pain and suffering as a result of the death of Decedent.
14. Defendants failed to provide adequate security which would have deterred Defendant Parish from exiting the store, in possession of a firearm, posing and ultimately causing harm and the death of Decedent.
15. Defendants, at all times relevant hereto, failed to prevent wanton and willful injury to Decedent on the premises
Attorney Michael Carr of the Cleveland law firm of Carr & Calderon is also representing the plaintiff.
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Here comes the lawsuit.