Tentative Settlement Approved in Mitrice Richardson Case

A settlement was pending Tuesday in the wrongful death lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department by the parents of Mitrice Richardson.

The county Board of Supervisors approved a settlement in a closed-door meeting last Tuesday, subject to all parties signing a final agreement, according to county counsel Roger Grabo.

"The settlement is not final,'' Grabo said, declining to say more.

The county would pay Latice and Michael Richardson about $900,000, according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited sources with knowledge of the pending deal.

Richardson was arrested at a Malibu restaurant on the evening of Sept. 16, 2009 for failing to pay her bill and was released early the next day without her car, telephone or purse.

She disappeared after being released from the Lost Hills/Malibu sheriff's station.

The 24-year-old woman's decomposing body was found in Malibu Canyon the following August. A coroner's investigator criticized deputies for moving Richardson's remains when they were first found.

Latice Sutton said she later found a finger bone at the site, and authorities recovered eight more bones in February.

Her parents filed separate suits wrongful death lawsuits that were later consolidated. They contended deputies should not have released their daughter into the night, given her mental state.

The young woman may have been manic at the time of her arrest. A diary recovered from her car, which had been seized because deputies found some marijuana in it, suggested that she may have gone without sleep for as many as five days before her arrest.

In July, Richardson's parents exhumed her body and hired a private pathologist to investigate. Attorneys for the Richardsons were unavailable for immediate comment on the pending settlement.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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