Illinois Jury Awards Murder Victim’s Family $1M

GALESBURG, Ill. – A jury has awarded more than $1 million to the family of a female student beaten to death in 1998 at Knox College.

According to testimony at the trial, Andrea Racibozynski, a freshman at the time of the murder, was beaten with a brick so severely by her classmate, Clyde Best, that during the attack, the weapon broke in half. Best, now 26, entered a guilty plea in 1999. He was sentenced to 60 years for his crime.

Racibozynski’s parents successfully sued Knox College, claiming the school failed to provide a safe environment for their daughter by not providing adequate lighting in the dormitory stairwell where she was murdered. According to the family’s attorney, the jury award of more than $1 million is the largest civil award in county history.

Knox College officials may appeal the ruling, saying improved lighting and security would not have prevented the murder.

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