Dallas, TX

Judge Orders Charter Spectrum to Pay $1.1B to Family of Grandmother Murdered by Technician

Larry Lease

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A Dallas judge has ordered the cable company Charter Spectrum to pay $1.147 billion to a family whose grandma was killed by a technician.Jeremy McGilvrey/Unsplash

Dallas County Judge Juan Renteria has ordered cable company Charter Spectrum to pay $1.147 billion to the family of 83-year-old grandmother Betty Thomas who was robbed and killed in her home by one of the company's cable technicians.

Fox 4 reports that cable technician Roy Holden murdered Betty Thomas at her home in Irving with his Spectrum knife in 2019. The judgment was signed on Monday and found that Charter knowingly and intentionally committed forgery in order to defraud or harm plaintiffs.

Fox 4 reveals that testimony during the trial found that Spectrum cable ignored multiple red flags about Holden from the day he was hired to the day of the murder. Charter Spectrum ended an employee screening program in 2016, while hiring Holden without verifying his employment history. Fox 4 reports, if they did they would have found he lied about his background on his application.

According to Fox 4, the jury found Charter forged a service agreement, alleging Thomas agreed to it, after her death in an attempt to force the suit into arbitration, where the results would be kept from the public and damages would be limited to less than $200. This past summer, a jury previously reached a verdict calling for Charter Spectrum to pay $7 billion for gross negligence. The family's lawyer Chris Hamilton issued a statement following the judge's decision saying:

"The victim’s family voluntarily ‘remitted’ the initial $7 billion punitive damages award to an amount equal to two times the compensatory damages in requesting entry of judgment. This conservative damages multiplier will make the judgment exceedingly unlikely to be overturned on appeal given the criminal forgery findings against Charter and established Supreme Court precedent."

Holden stole the woman's credit card and went on a spending spree. He was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of Betty Thomas.

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I specialize in crime, entertainment and political stories. I have spent eight years as a freelance writer and journalist.

Dallas, TX
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