Lawsuit filed over shooting death

by John O'Brien |
Jul. 28, 2006, 2:45am

CHARLESTON - One week after being found not guilty of first-degree murder, Scott McCormick has been hit with a civil lawsuit against him for his role in the death of Darlena Sue Cartwright.

Cartwright's mother Jane filed the lawsuit July 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court, claiming McCormick is to blame for her daughter's death on Jan. 26, 2005.

Darlena Cartwright and McCormick were neighbors in St. Albans before a dispute ended with her shooting. McCormick was convicted July 14 of involuntary manslaughter.

His sentence will be a maximum of one year in jail. He has been in jail awaiting trial since January 2005, so his time served may be credited.

The lawsuit says he "brandished said firearm in a grossly negligent and/or reckless manner, causing it to discharge in the direction of Darlena Sue Cartwright."

McCormick testified that his pistol went off accidentally after he confronted Cartwright about compact discs that had been stolen from his wife's vehicle. He claims he took the gun for protection because he thought drugs were being sold out of Cartwright's residence and pulled it out because he felt threatened.

The lawsuit says he has caused those who survive Cartwright: Sorrow, mental anguish and solace, a reasonably expected loss of income of the decedent, the loss of reasonably expected services, a loss of protection, expenses for her hospitalization and funeral, pain and suffering and mental anguish.

Jane Cartwright is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and court costs.

Thomas H. Peyton of Peyton Law Firm in Nitro is representing Cartwright.

Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1417

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