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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News, File

Susan Hunt to get 1/3 of civil lawsuit settlement

By Pat Reavy  |  Posted Feb 17th, 2017 @ 11:22am


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SARATOGA SPRINGS — A civil lawsuit filed by Susan Hunt, the mother of a man who was shot and killed by Saratoga Springs police in 2014 while carrying a souvenir katana sword, has been settled.

U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell earlier this week ordered that a $900,000 settlement being held in a bank account be distributed with Hunt receiving $357,000, her current attorneys receiving $333,000, and Hunt's former attorney, Robert Sykes, receiving $210,000, according to documents filed in federal court.

On Sept. 10, 2014, Saratoga Springs Police Cpl. Matt Schauerhamer and officer Nicholas Judson confronted Darrien Hunt as he walked near a strip mall carrying a 3-foot sword. The confrontation resulted in the 22-year-old being shot six times in the back as he ran away from the officers.

The Utah County Attorney's Office determined the officers' actions were legally justified. In January 2015, Sykes and the Hunt family filed a $2 million civil lawsuit, calling the use of deadly force unlawful and excessive.

In August of 2015, a settlement of $900,000 was reached. But Susan Hunt, 53, later claimed she never authorized Sykes to accept the settlement, contending it would have required her to stay quiet about her son' death.

In April of 2016, Campbell ruled that Hunt had, in fact, agreed to the out-of-court settlement and ordered her to take the money. Her ruling was based in part on recorded phone conversations with Sykes. Hunt appealed the ruling but was again denied in August of 2016.

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In January of 2016, Susan Hunt was arrested and later charged with driving impaired and on the wrong side on state Route 73 near Stockton, Tooele County. Utah Highway Patrol troopers had to use their own patrol cars to stop Hunt's vehicle.

She then refused to come out of her car for 15 minutes and was combative with troopers during that time, calling them "evil" and saying she wished their children would die, a UHP report states. She pleaded guilty in August to DUI, a class B misdemeanor, and having an open container of alcohol in her vehicle, a class C misdemeanor, in exchange for two other charges being dismissed.

In June, Hunt pleaded guilty to failure to disperse, a class C misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, reduced from a class C misdemeanor to an infraction, for a 2014 confrontation with Saratoga Springs police shortly after her son's death. Hunt saw two officers who were involved in a traffic stop near where Darrien Hunt was shot, and she pulled over to confront them.

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