CROFTON, Md. (WJZ) — The family of a murdered Anne Arundel County teen reached a surprising settlement in civil court. Christopher Jones, 14, was jumped and beaten to death while riding his bike two years ago. Wednesday, the six defendants accused in that attack were ordered to pay the family.
Andrea Fujii explains the twist in the settlement.
Christopher Jones’ murder shocked suburban Anne Arundel County. After switching schools to avoid gang violence, the 14-year-old was beaten to death by those same gang members while riding his bike home.
His parents have sued six of the boys. Two are already serving time for the criminal charges. Instead of going to court for more money, they settled on Wednesday. The settlement includes sneakers that one defendant was wearing in court when he said he couldn’t pay the family anything.
“How can he come to court for a civil trial pleading poverty with a free lawyer, saying that he can’t afford to pay anything for his involvement in our son’s death, while he’s got on a new pair of shoes?” said Christopher’s mother, Jennifer Adkins.
So the judge ordered the sneakers off and the other five defendants will pay an undisclosed amount to the family.
“I haven’t smiled like this in two years, just because it was such a victory to humiliate him and take his pride and take his joy and to give him a sense of what it feels like to be stripped of that,” Adkins said.
It’s been two years of court appearances and begging for accountability. Christopher’s parents never thought that a pair of shoes would be satisfying but they say it’s the kind of justice their 14-year-old would have appreciated.
“Go brag to your friends now. When your friends ask you how court went, tell them that Chris’ mom took your shoes off of your feet,” Adkins said.
The family says they’re satisfied and the settlement and the shoes offer them closure to move forward. They’re working with area police agencies to talk about gang violence with young offenders in hopes of preventing attacks like their son’s.
Two teens—one charged as an adult and the other as a juvenile—are expected to be released from jail after serving less than five years.