Case proceeds against Anderson County Sheriff’s Office
ANDERSON CO., S.C. —
A partial settlement was reached Wednesday for the family of an Upstate 2-year-old boy who fatally shot himself with a deputy’s gun in July 2012.
The family of Josiah Tate had filed a lawsuit against the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Jahwaun Blair accusing both of negligence and recklessness.
Authorities said Josiah shot himself in the head with a .38-caliber handgun on July 3, 2012, in the bedroom of a home he and his mother shared with Blair.
The family said Blair was the mother’s boyfriend.
The lawsuit stated the mother asked Blair on several occasions to put the handgun in a safe and secure location to protect the child.
The coroner ruled the death accidental, saying Blair had come home, taken off his gun and left to run errands.
While he was out, the boy and his mother returned, and the child picked up the gun and fired.
The family’s attorney, Chuck Allen, said the family will be awarded $100,000, which totals about $58,000 after fees are subtracted.
The settlement only covers Blair’s part of the lawsuit. Allen said Blair had $100,000 in renter’s insurance that covered negligence.
The case will proceed against the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, and the sheriff is expected to face a deposition in January.
Blair resigned from the force on Jan. 7, 2013.