The County of Orange will shell out $4.4 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a Marine sergeant shot to death by a sheriff's deputy at San Clemente High School in February.
Howard Sutter, a spokesman for the county chief executive's office, explained no other details would be released other than the settlement amount to be paid to the family of Sgt. Manuel Levi “Manny” Loggins Jr.
The county Board of Supervisors had agreed last month to enter into settlement negotiations with the family, which is represented by Los Angeles lawyer Brian Dunn, who was not available for comment this afternoon.
The county agreed to the settlement amount today.
Deputy Darren Sandberg, who'd served in the Marines before joining the sheriff's department, shot and killed Loggins Feb. 7 at the high school track where the Marine held early-morning prayer walks with his daughters, who were in the back of the family SUV to witness the shooting.
The sheriff's department and deputies union vehemently defended Sandberg, maintaining that Loggins crashed through a gate to reach the track, was acting erratically when confronted by the deputy and had to be taken out to protect the two girls. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced in October that his office was clearing Sandberg of criminal wrongdoing.
But Dunn, the Loggins family and everyone from Camp Pendleton brass down to co-workers of the slain man strongly defended the 31-year-old father of four as a thoughtful, Christian family man. A multi-million dollar wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit was filed in federal court by Dunn on behalf of the family earlier in the spring.
With the revelation of the Board of Supervisors agreeing to negotiate a settlement on April 23, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriff's issued a release again damning Loggins for his actions, reiterated that the DA had produced findings favorable to Sandberg and noted the DA also found the deputy had no Taser or less-lethal options available to him, adding that the union backs the department's efforts to provide deputies the necessary tools and training.
Shawn Nelson, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors, had previously said the panel had a “duty on behalf of the taxpayers” and “to do right by the people who put in a claim.”