Family of Julian Lewis files intent to sue state over his death

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The family of a man shot and killed by a Georgia State Trooper in Screven County in August announced Monday their intent to sue the state of Georgia for his death.

State officials say 60-year-old Julian Lewis was shot by Jacob Thompson, 27, during a traffic stop on Stoney Pond Road. The now-former Georgia State Patrol apparently used a Precision Intervention Technique (PIT) to stop Lewis’ vehicle, which crashed into a ditch.

That’s when Thompson fired a round at Lewis, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, hitting him in the forehead. Lewis died on the scene.

Thompson was later arrested and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. After being denied once, he is seeking bond again. A Screven County judge will make a decision sometime later this week or next week.

News 3 has reached out to the Georgia Department of Public Safety for dashcam video but they say it can’t be released right now as the case is still under investigation.

The Lewis family is being represented by attorneys Mawuli Davis and Francys Johnson. Their intent notice claims Thompson and the Georgia State Patrol, under the Georgia Department of Public Safety, are “legally liable” for Lewis’ death and seeks up to $12 million.

“Julian Lewis should be alive today. Julian Lewis should be with his family preparing for a COVID safe Thanksgiving,” Johnson said.

“Moreover, they are likewise financially liable, to the full extent the law allows, for Mr. Lewis’s death,” the notice states. “Claims for Mr. Lewis’s injuries and damages are made herein based on the Georgia Tort Claims Act and violation of Mr. Lewis’s federal civil rights.”

Lawyers say Thompson went beyond the duties of his job and the law. Lewis’s wife and mom spoke out at Monday’s press conference.

“The money will not bring my husband back. No amount of money will bring him back. I loved my husband, he’s not here, but justice will be served,” Lewis’ wife, Betty Lewis said.

“Julian Lewis was my only son and this man took my only son away from me. It’s just about to take me away from here,” Lewis’ mom, Lindsay Milton said.

The family’s attorneys feel as Thompson was swiftly fired, arrested, and charged the state should be prepared to review the facts.

“Something as blatant as this we would expect the state to step up and to address this without us having to file a lawsuit, that’s what our hope is,” David said.

The state has 30 days to respond to the notice.

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