AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week But Galipo said that Mitchell was at least two feet away when the first shots were fired. Mitchell’s white T-shirt showed no soot or stippling that would have come from a shot fired at close range, Galipo said. “The way I won was to show the version given by the deputy was inconsistent with the physical evidence and forensic evidence,” Galipo said. “I think Manes completely panicked and mishandled the whole situation. For whatever reason, from the beginning, he just panicked. After he shot, he was in shock, and shot some more. I don’t know.” The county’s attorney did not return phone calls for comment. The Sheriff’s Department will appeal the verdict, said a spokesman for Sheriff Lee Baca, who is in Russia. “We just believe the jurors didn’t understand the facts,” Baca spokesman Steve Whitmore said. “We are convinced we will prevail in the appellate system.” A federal jury Tuesday awarded $4 million to the family of a ex-convict shot to death by sheriff’s deputies in November 2002 outside his sister’s Littlerock home. The Los Angeles jury deliberated for about two hours before awarding damages to Robert Mitchell’s family, who had filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against Los Angeles County, claiming the shooting was unjustified. “I’m very pleased with the verdict,” said Dale Galipo, the attorney who represented Mitchell’s parents and six children. “I think that this jury was very courageous. It takes a certain amount of courage on the part of jurors even when they see misconduct to return a verdict like this.” Attorneys for the county argued that Deputy Rick Manes was justified in shooting Mitchell, who was unarmed, because Mitchell tried to grab Manes’ gun and then went after his partner’s gun, Galipo said. The shooting occurred about 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20, 2002, as Mitchell was leaving his sister’s house in the 9200 block of East Avenue T-4 to go to his parents’ house, where he lived about eight blocks away, Galipo said. Mitchell had been released from prison the previous May after serving time for assault on a peace officer. Deputies pulled up in front of the house in response to a 911 call about a burglary at a home next door. Before arriving, the deputies were told that the intruder was a neighbor who was threatening to kill the home’s residents, officials said. When Manes and Deputy Clark Lien arrived, they spotted Mitchell, Galipo said. “They saw Mitchell standing in the middle of the street and they assume he was the guy who was the subject of the call,” Galipo said. Manes said he fired two shots initially when Mitchell allegedly tried to grab his gun, Galipo said. Galipo said the 911 caller never hung up the phone, and the tape of that call revealed what sounded like four shots in the initial round. “I think the jury had some credibility concerns with the story the deputies gave and the physical evidence,” Galipo said. Galipo said the seven jurors unanimously found that Manes violated the civil rights of Mitchell under federal law by using excessive and unreasonable deadly force, and that he was also negligent under state law in the shooting of Mitchell. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!