Wounded Soldier’s Suit Against North Carolina Sheriff’s Office Settled

January 11, 2010

A former Army sergeant wounded by a deputy during a military training exercise in North Carolina has settled a civil rights lawsuit for $580,000.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that Stephen Phelps, 35, agreed to dismiss his lawsuit against the Moore County Sheriff’s Office and former Deputy Randall Butler as part of the out-of-court settlement reached in November.

The settlement is in addition to more than $650,000 a federal jury awarded him in October in a lawsuit that accused Butler of using excessive force when he fired at the soldiers.

Phelps was shot in the arm and chest in February 2002 during an Army role-playing exercise called Robin Sage, the final exam for soldiers in Special Forces training.

First Lt. Tallas Tomeny was killed in the exercise. Before the federal trial, Tomeny’s family settled for $65,000.

Butler, who is now a chief deputy in Lee County, has a pending lawsuit against the United States involving the shooting. The trial has been postponed indefinitely pending analysis of the federal court jury decision against him.

Phelps works for a private military contractor in Florida.

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