S.C. State Settles Lawsuit in 2014 Shooting Death of Student Athlete
The lawsuit alleges S.C. State officials knew the gunman had a violent history but gave him preferential treatment because his mother was an employee.
South Carolina State University has reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit after one of its students was shot and killed on campus in 2014.
Brandon Robinson, 20, was fatally shot in the neck in a parking lot outside of his dormitory on January 24, 2014. Robinson was a junior and played on the football team, reports The State.
Justin Singleton, a sophomore at the time of the killing, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June 2015. He was originally indicted on a murder charge but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge, according to T&D.
Court records indicate Singleton pistol-whipped Robinson during an argument before shooting him.
The school and related groups have agreed to pay $437,500 but admitted no fault. The money will go to Robinson’s estate. His father, Darryl Brown, is his sole surviving beneficiary.
Of the $437,500, the S.C. Insurance Reserve Fund will pay $375,000 and the Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. will pay the remaining $62,500.
The lawsuit alleged the university knew that Singleton had a violent history but gave him preferential treatment because his mother was an employee at the school. Singleton was accused of lesser offenses than he had committed and never completed required anger-management classes, according to the suit.
Singleton’s mother received word that her son was involved in an altercation and rode with an S.C. State police officer to find him. The officer pulled over Singleton so he could speak with his mother but Singleton drove off at a high rate of speed, says the lawsuit. Singleton then returned to kill Robinson.
The suit also alleged the school is in a known high crime area but did not provide adequate security and protection for its students.
“In addition to bringing closure to Brandon’s family, we hope this lawsuit has caused the university to review and enforce its policies and procedures for the protection and safety of its students and other visitors on campus,” said Lanier & Burroughs attorney David Marshall.
Also charged with accessory after the fact were Kevin Winningham, 22, Darius Frasier, 23, Shannon Davis, 27, and Raymone Sinclair, 23. According to arrest warrants, the men traveled with Singleton to confront Robinson. After the shooting, they fled with Singleton and abandoned his vehicle.