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Jury: Deputies partly at fault in Mount Lemmon death; no monetary damages awarded

A jury today found in favor of the family of a man slain by deputies on Mount Lemmon in 2003, but awarded him no monetary damages.

The found Scott Curtis 90 percent responsible for his own death and assigned 10 percent of the liability to the county.

Curtis’ attorney told the jury last week that Curtis was “drunk” and his actions were “stupid … but that’s not something that you get killed for.”

Curtis was killed Aug. 11, 2003, by Pima County sheriff”s deputies as he drove toward a roadblock on Catalina Highway . The roadblock was in place in part to protect President Bush during his visit to Mount Lemmon that day in the wake of the Aspen fire.

Curtis’s family sued the three deputies involved.

“Scott Curtis was intentionally killed,” attorney Joel B. Robbins said last week in opening statements in the wrongful death lawsuit in Pima County Superior Court.

Curtis shares some blame for events that led to the shooting, Robbins said, but deputies overreacted.

Deputy County Attorney Thomas E. Dugal said during his opening statements last week that deputies were justified in using deadly force because Curtis posed a threat.

“The only person responsible for Mr. Curtis’s death is Mr. Curtis himself,” said Dugal, representing deputies Brad Judd and Jeff Copfer and Sgt. William Murphy.

Curtis left two suicide notes in his apartment and appeared suicidal to the deputies, who had barricaded Catalina Highway because of the Aspen fire and a scheduled speech by Bush on Aug. 11.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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