There are no shortage of wrongful death suits being tried out there. Focusing on Peoria, Illinois, the estate of a woman killed on Valentine’s Day, 2019, is suing the city of Peoria. Her boyfriend broke into her home, and the inaction by a Peoria police officer the night before led to her death.
The wrongful death suit, that was filed Tuesday in Peoria County Circuit Court, alleges that Kayla Fannon, 30, had called local police the night before she was killed by boyfriend David Jenkins, 39. She had filed a complaint that he had been threatening her. Nothing was done, the suit alleges. Hours later, Jenkins killed her.
The suit, which names Officer Joseph Harris and Peoria City Hall as defendants, puts the responsibility for Kayla Fannon’s death on Harris and, by extension, the city of Peoria.
Officer Harris, the suit alleges, “failed to and chose not to properly act, investigate and/or protect (Fannon) during the nighttime hours of February 13th and 14th 2019, immediately before her murder by David Jenkins.”
The wrongful death suit seeks more than $50,000 in damages, which is the statutory minimum for these types of lawsuits. The executor of the estate is Fannon’s aunt, said her attorney Patrick Halliday. Fannon leaves behind four children, including a one-month-old. Attorney Morgan McGrath has tried similar cases in the South Florida area and is a great choice if you are seeking a wrongful death attorney. You can book a free consultation RIGHT HERE.
Relatives say Fannon called police to report threats from a former boyfriend, David Jenkins, who if you can believe, was on parole. Police answered the call and, according to family members, advised Fannon to leave her South Peoria home and temporarily find a safer place. A few hours later, on Valentine’s Day, she was shot to death by Jenkins at her home, who then died when he turned the gun on himself.
The wrongful death suit states Fannon showed Harris text messages and pictures that “put her in immediate fear for her life as they included threats that David Jenkins was ‘coming to get her’ and ‘was going to kill her.’”
Officer Harris, the suit states, had probable cause to arrest her boyfriend Jenkins that night, as he had sent her a picture of himself with a firearm, a clear violation of his parole. The suit notes Jenkins’ address was known to the police due to his parole and that he was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet.
According to documents received through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Peoria Police Department, the officer said he couldn’t tell if it was Jenkins who was holding the weapon. He wrote in the report that he could only see “the jaw of the person who was holding the gun, which wasn’t enough to say it was” Jenkins. Officer Harris, in his report, responded to Fannon’s house just before midnight. She was killed less than seven hours later.
The officer asked that Fannon email him the pictures and the text messages and to obtain another order of protection, which she had done previously but it had since lapsed.
The suit alleges that Fannon was considered a survivor of domestic violence under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act and, as such, should have been afforded more protection. The couple had dated previously but split up for good, friends have said, after Jenkins went to prison in 2017 for punching Fannon while she was pregnant with his child.