Regional
8:30 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Judge To Decide $14 Million 'Lizard Man' Suit

A federal judge says he will render a verdict as soon as possible in the $14 million wrongful death suit filed by the family of a samurai sword-wielding man shot and killed by a Las Cruces Police officer.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the case went to U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory B. Wormuth Thursday after three days of trial.

Hummell, a 23-year-old known as "Lizard Man," died shortly after Las Cruces police officer Horacio Rivera shot him four times with an AR-15 rifle. Rivera has said Hummell "lunged" at him and another officer.

The District Attorney's Office cleared police of criminal wrongdoing. But a 2011 lawsuit by Hummell's father alleged gross negligence. And a retired lawman testified police acted too quickly after Hummell made one step in their direction.

The city argued the officers acted properly, responding to deadly force with deadly force.

Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.