Two parents of a deceased Saline County student were awarded $32 million on Monday, by a Federal Jury in their lawsuit against the City of Benton, Arkansas, as well as the former Chief of Police Kirk Lane, and Benton Officer Kyle Ellison.
Piper Partridge and Dominic Schweikle have been seeking justice for the death of their son, Keagan Anthony-Wade Schweikle, after he was shot and killed by a Benton police officer in 2016. According to the case documents, Partridge called authorities for help because she was concerned for the welfare of their 17-year-old. She thought he might be suicidal, after having been suspended from Harmony Grove School. When officers found him, he was alone in the woods by the Saline River and had a gun.
The case files say the officers saw that Schweikle had the weapon aimed at his head and ordered him to drop it. When the teen began to lower the gun, the officer fired on him. According to documents, Schweikle was shot by Officer Ellison. That officer was cleared of any charges. The jury determined that Lane as Chief, did not properly train Officer Ellison.
The case was dismissed and appealed twice. The jury came to the decision this time after four days of testimony, for the City of Benton to pay two installments of $15 million, and for Lane to pay $2 million.