City of Bakersfield quietly settles officer-involved shooting lawsuit

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
A secret settlement in a civil lawsuit linked to an officer-involved shooting three years ago, is a secret no more. The city attorney confirmed a settlement Tuesday afternoon while the private attorney who defended the city in the wrongful death lawsuit would only say the case was resolved.
 
James Villegas, 22, was shot and killed in November 2014 near Mount Vernon Avenue and Highway 178. The killing again made headlines five months later when senior officer Aaron Stringer, who wasn't involved in the shootings, was accused of cracking jokes and tickling Villegas' body at Kern Medical, after the shooting. He later retired.
 
The family filed a lawsuit, both over the shooting and the tickling revelations.
 
The settlement wasn't publicly disclosed until 17 News pushed the city for details. A check register filed by the City of Bakersfield to city council revealed a payment in may to a Geragos and Geragos client trust, the law firm representing James Villegas' family. The city confirmed it paid $400,000 to settle the case. 
         
The Bakersfield Police Department's critical incident review board found officers Frank Mcintyre, Edgar Aguilera and Valeria Robles were within department, state, and federal guidelines when they shot and killed Villegas. Police said they initially tried to subdue him with a taser after a chase, but shot him when he reached for his waistband. BPD found no evidence Villegas was armed. The coroner determined his blood alcohol level was .13, above the legal driving limit.
 
The city has paid at least $5 million since 2010, to settle 28 cases involving the police department.
 
Since 2010, the city of Bakersfield has paid at $5,000,000 to settle 28 cases involving the police department. Below is a brief description of each settlement. 
 
2017
 
Michelle Beltran - $25,000 BPD car crash
Ramona Cox - $600,000 BPD car crash
Annabe Taylor - $100,000 BPD car crash
 
2016
 
Harb - $2.5 million Failure to summon medical aid for a prisoner
Attebery - $30,000 BPD minor attacked by K-9
Destin Penn - $5,000 BPD civil rights lawsuit alleging false arrest, imprisonment assault & battery
Jesse Trevino - $20,000 BPD civil rights lawsuit alleging excessive force
Arturo Morales - $25,000 BPD civil rights lawsuit alleging numerous civil rights violations
 
2015
 
Cynthia Soltero - $75,000 BPD wrongful death complaint 
Victoria Youngblood - $500,000 BPD civil rights violation
Bernie & Sandra Lopez - $50,000 BPD wrongful death & civil rights violation
 
2014
 
Edward Colson - $75,000 BPD civil rights lawsuit
Yetunda Wright - $75,000 BPD wrongful death with civil rights violations
Caitlin Lamond - $195,000 Personal injury - animal control officer caused minor to be bit by dog
 
2013
 
Gregory Niel Davis - $14,281 BPD personal injury & general negligence
Nicholson - $35,000 BPD civil rights violation
Erick Aleman - $20,000 BPD civil rights violation
Reynaldo Canales - $35,000 BPD civil rights violations
Ronnie & Sharon Moats, Jennifer Oglesby - $35,000 Property loss during marijuana raids
 
2012
 
Alan Hance - $25,000 BPD car crash 
Bennie Ray Brown - $3,000 BPD civil rights violations 
Hailey - $395,000 BPD civil rights violations 
Josue Vilchis - $7,500 BPD civil rights violations 
 
2011
 
Philip Elms - $60,000 BPD car crash 
Olga Gomez - $72,500 BPD civil rights violations 
 
2010
 
Delgado - $25,000 BPD car crash 
Rosa & Isabel Gomez - $20,000 BPD car crash 
Dade - $15,000 BPD crash
 
Total: $5,037,281
 
This information was provided to us from the city attorney's office. 
 

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