Valerie Castile to receive full settlement in son's death
A Hennepin County judge ordered today that Philando Castile's mother be allocated $2 million from a civil settlement in his death.
Castile was shot and killed by a St. Anthony, Minn., police officer during a traffic stop on July 6, 2016. The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, faced manslaughter and weapons charges, and was found not guilty on all counts in June. He separated from the department soon after.
Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, was appointed trustee of his estate last September. The family settled with the city of St. Anthony for $2.995 million in June.
Legal fees took up $995,000 of the original settlement. Valerie Castile's attorneys asked the court to distribute the rest of the proceeds directly to her.
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Only one of 16 close relatives who were notified of the settlement sought a share. Philando Castile's father, Phelix Frazier, Sr., wrote a letter to the court arguing that he should receive $500,000, which contradicted an earlier statement he'd made that said Valerie Castile should receive all of the funds. Frazier is currently serving a life sentence in federal prison in Illinois for a drug offense.
Attorneys for Valerie Castile argued that Frazier wasn't involved in Philando Castile's life. Hennepin County District Court Judge Susan Robiner wrote in her decision, signed Wednesday, that she sympathized with Frazier's loss, but ruled that Frazier did not qualify for a share of the settlement under the law.
Philando Castile's sister, Allysza Castile, waived her right to a share, telling the court that she supported the settlement being paid out to her mother.
Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was in the car at the time of the shooting with her 4-year-old daughter, has not reached any settlement with the city.