State settles on shooting

Terms seal amount of agreement in case of Casey Porter

Posted: Thursday, February 09, 2006

A lawsuit filed against the state of Alaska and a state trooper who shot and killed a Nikiski man more than two years ago, ended in a settlement last week.

An attorney for the plaintiff said he could not reveal the amount of the settlement due to the terms of the agreement and Assistant Attorney General David Flanigan could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The lawsuit alleged that the shooting of 30-year-old Casey G. Porter by Trooper Arthur J. Osborn on Jan. 4, 2003, was either negligent or a use of intentional, excessive force. It named Osborn individually, as well as the state, and sought more than $1 million in damages on behalf of Porter’s estate.

Porter was sitting in his car in a pullout off the Sterling Highway the night of the shooting. Osborn and another trooper responded to a report that the car was suspicious.

Osborn repeatedly ordered Porter out of his vehicle and when the driver refused fired pepper spray into the car, troopers said.

Osborn told investigators Porter then began driving in the direction of Trooper Joseph Whittom, and Osborn began shooting, thinking his partner’s life was in jeopardy.

Porter was struck four times and died at the scene.

A trooper investigation into the shooting incident subsequently concluded the shooting was justified and state prosecutors decided not to file charges against Osborn.

The estate representative identified in the lawsuit settled last week is Danielle Gordon, the mother of Porter’s daughter.

A lawsuit, filed on behalf of Porter’s parents, seeking relief in the amount of $100,000, plus punitive damages, is still pending.

The complaint filed on behalf of Porter’s parents states Porter had violated no law and did not display probable cause for Osborn and Whittom to stop him.

According to the complaint, troopers “used an excessive amount of force ... assaulted him, shot and killed (him).”

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