08-29-03: Anderson family
refiles wrongful death suit
| By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
family of Brent Anderson has refiled a civil lawsuit seeking monetary
compensation for the shooting death of their son in September
The family seeks “vindication” for Brent Anderson,
a former Celina attorney, “and seeks to hold Kimberly Anderson
accountable for the killing,” reads a statement to the media
from the family’s attorney, Dale K. Perdue of Columbus.
“Brent’s family cannot permit the one-sided story
presented at the criminal trial to be Brent’s final legacy,”
Perdue told The Daily Standard on Thursday. “They want the
record set straight that Brent was a kind, sensitive and caring
man who did not deserve to be gunned down in the prime of his
Brent Anderson’s wife, Kimberly Anderson, 38, of Wapakoneta
was acquitted of a trio of murder charges during a seven-day criminal
trial in Defiance County in October 2002. Neither she nor her
attorney, Rob C. Wiesenmayer of Wapakoneta, returned calls from
The Daily Standard seeking comment on the recent filing.
Perdue’s media release also states: “Family members
believe the jury acted on sympathy, not on the facts. ... the
jury saw a mother of four children and simply could not bring
themselves to convict Kimberly Anderson.”
The civil lawsuit claims Kimberly Anderson shot Brent Anderson
intentionally to end his life. A period of time elapsed between
the first non-fatal bullet fired upon Brent Anderson and the seven
subsequent shots, it states.
“During this time, the
decedent (deceased) was in mortal fear for his life and experienced
physical pain, suffering and severe mental anguish,” Perdue
The family filed a similar lawsuit weeks after the shooting, but
dismissed it in March, citing personal reasons. Perdue beat the
court deadline to refile the suit by five days.
The recent lawsuit lists Brent Anderson’s brother, Kevin
Anderson of Cincinnati, as plaintiff. The lawsuit seeks a total
in excess of $50,000 and “special, compensatory and punitive
damages” on behalf of the couple’s children, Erik,
5, and Ryan, 3, Brent Anderson’s daughter from a previous
relationship, Justine, 14, as well as Brent Anderson’s parents
Brent Anderson was the son of Warren and Betty Anderson of Celina.
He also is survived by four brothers and five sisters.
Kimberly Anderson has retained custody of the couple’s two
children, as well as two other children from a previous marriage,
since the shooting two years ago.
Throughout the trial last fall, Kimberly Anderson testified that
she argued with her estranged husband that Labor Day weekend after
telling him she suspected he had molested one of the children.
She said he chased her into an upstairs bedroom where she shot
him eight times in self-defense.
The recently filed lawsuit counters Kimberly Anderson’s
claims of self-defense. Perdue states evidence at the trial shows
Brent Anderson was never physically violent or abusive during
the couple’s three-year marriage. He also notes Kimberly
Anderson had both a telephone and a loaded gun when she pursued
her unarmed husband into a walk-in closet after already wounding
him with the first shot in the bedroom area.
In May, Kimberly Anderson filed a motion to seal all records relating
to the criminal case. Her attorney, Alan Konop of Toledo, argued
that his client was trying to “get on with her life”
and deserved her right to privacy.
Perdue notified the court in a letter objecting to the motion
on the grounds he intended to refile the civil suit and would
seek access to all information and evidence in the case.
On Aug. 8, Auglaize County Common Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple
denied the expungement of Kimberly Anderson’s records and
upheld the right of public access to information in the high-profile
SUBSCRIBE TO THE DAILY STANDARD
(419)586-2371, Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH