FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio — Franklin County has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle a federal wrongful death lawsuit in the fatal 2018 shooting of a 16-year-old boy by a sheriff’s deputy during a scuffle.
The Franklin County Board of Commissioners voted on the settlement amount on Monday, which is the largest in county history.
Authorities say in January 2018, Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Scarborough was escorting Joseph Haynes and his mother from the courtroom when there was an altercation.
A scuffle broke out when Haynes resisted Scarborough. At the time, Hayne’s lawyer said the teen was upset when the deputy threatened to arrest him at the end of a hearing.
The teen was also upset by a judge’s order that he continue to wear an electronic monitoring device.
Haynes was shot once in the abdomen outside a juvenile courtroom in Columbus. He died minutes later at the hospital.
A grand jury investigation led to no charges filed against Scarborough.
The attorneys for Haynes’s family say Scarborough “needlessly escalated the encounter using excessive force” that led to the death of Haynes.
The lawsuit claims the Franklin County Coroner determined the minor’s death a homicide but the Franklin County Sheriff chose to investigate their own deputy instead of having an independent investigator conduct an investigation.
The complaint also alleges the sheriff’s department does not train deputies to manage interactions with unarmed minors.
John Camillus, an attorney representing the Haynes family, released a statement saying, "An Unarmed child was shot and killed in a secure courthouse where a host of sheriff's deputies were present. That should never happen, and we hope that this settlement hopes to ensure that it never happens in Franklin County again," said John Camillus, an attorney representing the Haynes family."
A spokesperson with the Franklin County Board of Commissioners said the board agreed to the settlement to provide closure to residents and protect tax dollars from the uncertainties of a civil trial.
“With this settlement, the county is moving forward from a difficult situation in the best way that we can. We want to first acknowledge the tragedy of the Haynes family’s loss, and also the challenge that deputies face in providing security for the courthouse complex each day," the spokesperson said.