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Chandler settles lawsuit with family

Chandler settles lawsuit with family

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MESA(AP) — Chandler officials have settled a lawsuit with the family of a woman who was fatally shot by a police officer last year, a newspaper reported.

Dennis O'Neill, the city's attorney, said that City Council paid its insurance company $1.94 million to settle the case, the East Valley Tribune reported.

Nelson, 35, was fatally shot on Oct. 11, 2002, by Daniel Lovelace, who was a Chandler police officer at the time.

Nelson was accused of trying to fill a forged prescription at a drug store's drive-thru window while her 14-month-old was in the back seat of her car.

Police arrived at the scene and Lovelace, a motorcycle officer, contends that he shot Nelson because she tried to run him down with her car.

However, Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley has said that evidence shows that the fatal bullet came from behind Nelson, suggesting that Lovelace was not in danger.

Lovelace's lawyer, Craig Mehrens, has said his client's actions were justified given the circumstances.

Lovelace was fired from the Chandler Police Department on Nov. 13, shortly after being indicted on charges of second-degree murder and endangerment in connection with the shooting.

Lovelace has pleaded innocent and faces a preliminary hearing on Dec. 9.

The newspaper also reported that there is an ongoing investigation of Lovelace by the Department of Justice, but it's unclear if it is related to the fatal shooting.

Harriet Bernick, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix, said that the department "has an open investigation of Lovelace. A civil rights investigation. Can't say anything else."

— Arizona Daily Sun


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