|Daughters, estate of Pickton man killed in 2004 awarded $3 million in wrongful death lawsuit|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Jan. 25, 2006 -- The daughters of Russell Walters Jr. and his estate were awarded $3 million in the wrongful death and survival lawsuit against John Walters, who was convicted in October 2004 of the shooting death of his older brother Russell.
Both Russann Dean of Bullard and Renee Allen of Gladewater were awarded $1.25 million a piece. Each was awarded $850,000 in damages for their suffering, plus $400,000 in punitive damages. The estate, of which one of Russell's daughters is executor, was also awarded $500,000 for pain and suffering sustained by Russell in the hour to hour and a half he lived after being shot.
While the verdict was well-received by the plaintiffs, the satisfaction of knowing John Walters will never own the property they allege was the reason behind the shooting was even more rewarding, according to Scott Funk, the Houston attorney representing Russell Walters' family and estate.
They alleged John Walters killed Russell because he did not want his brother to receive the main house acreage containing outbuildings and pasture land as designated in their ailing mother's will.
"This was never about the money," Funk said. "They didn't want to see him get the land he had killed their daddy to get. They felt vindicated by the verdict. Now he cannot take away the land. It was a very sad case."
Walters defended himself in the case. He argued self-defense as the reason for shooting his brother, according to reports.