Civil suit settled for $1 million in case of teen killed by police


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WWAY) — A wrongful death civil suit filed by the mother of Keith Vidal has been settled.

Mary Wilsey’s attorney, David Ventura of Crumley Roberts LLP. says they settled the suit against Southport Police Sgt. Bryon Vassey, the City of Southport, Boiling Spring Lakes and Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram for $1 million.

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None of the defendants admitted fault or liability.

Keith Vidal was shot dead in his home by Southport Police Officer Bryon Vassey in 2014.  Vassey was one of three officers who responded to the family’s call for help at their Boiling Spring Lakes home. Vassey testified in court that he shot Vidal because the teen would not let go of a screwdriver as two other officers tried to calm him down. Vidal suffered from schizophrenia.

A jury found Vassey not guilty of voluntary manslaughter in May of 2016. 

The family sued for wrongful death and violation of Keith Vidal’s civil rights.

Ventura says the case was settled in December, but the paperwork was just recently finalized.

Ventura says the insurer for Boiling Spring Lakes paid the settlement on behalf of all the defendants because under the mutual aid agreement, Boiling Spring Lakes is liable for the actions of Vassey, even though he is not their employee.