LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Shane Ragland, who pleaded guilty to
manslaughter in the shooting death of University of Kentucky football player Trent DiGiuro, is legally liable in the death, a judge ruled Monday.
The ruling, issued in Fayette County Circuit Court, means DiGiuro's family is entitled to seek compensation from Ragland, who pleaded guilty in the football player's death.
The order did not say how much Ragland owes the DiGiuro family.
Lawyers for both sides said that figure would likely be determined by a jury.
Ragland was accused of targeting DiGiuro in revenge for keeping him out of a fraternity. He was convicted of murder in 2002 and sentenced to 30 years in prison, but he won a new trial after the state Supreme Court agreed that the prosecutor had made an inappropriate comment during trial and used inadmissible evidence concerning a bullet.
Ragland would have faced a retrial but pleaded guilty to manslaughter instead.
The case remained unsolved for six years, until police arrested Ragland, the son of a well-connected Frankfort businessman.
The DiGiuro family sued Ragland for wrongful death after his 2002 conviction. The family has acknowledged that the lawsuit is largely symbolic because Ragland has few assets to his name.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)