Appeals court rules against family of Ute tribal member

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A couple who says officers shot their Ute tribal member son after a car chase has hit another roadblock in their attempts at suing police.

A federal appeals court this week upheld a ruling that threw out a wrongful death lawsuit by Todd Murray's parents.

Justices on the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday sided with officers who said evidence shows Murray, 21, died in 2007 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Murray's parents dispute that, arguing officers shot him after a car chase on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in northeastern Utah. They filed a $6 million wrongful death lawsuit against police, the city of Vernal and Uintah County.

They said Murray was a passenger in the car, and officers had no probable cause to believe he committed a crime. They argued police lacked jurisdiction to pursue him on the reservation and violated his civil rights.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2014, but Murray's family appealed.

Murray family attorney Frances Bassett said the family is disappointed and wanted a jury to hear the case. She said they had not decided if they will appeal the latest decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A Utah Highway Patrol officer tried to stop the car in which Murry was riding in Uintah County. Following a chase, Murray left the car, and officers from multiple agencies pursued him.

He died soon after from a gunshot wound. His parents argued a Vernal police officer shot Murray in the head.

Evidence showed the officer was more than 100 yards away and reported seeing Murray put a gun to his own head and fire it, the justices said.

An autopsy report later showed Murray was intoxicated and had recently taken methamphetamine.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent U.S. stories

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast