Gov. Charlie Crist is proposing $5 million in compensation for the death of Martin Lee Anderson, a teenager killed at a boot camp in Bay County. But before the family can collect money they have to prove the state is responsible for Anderson's death.
The family says they shouldn't have to prove Anderson died in the hands of boot camp officials. The tape proves it, and that should be enough evidence. The parents of Martin Lee Anderson sent him to the DJJ not for him to be killed.
The parents of Martin Lee Anderson are reliving the nightmare, the day their son, 14-year-old Anderson, died. They've endured countless autopsies to determine the exact cause of death. Now they're hoping for closure to finally move on.
Gina Jones said, "Martin is gone. What happened to him was bad. You all think it's right that he's dead; that's not right at all."
A special legislative session took place in the Capitol to determine if the family should receive a $5 million settlement the governor is proposing, but the family has to prove the Department of Juvenile Justice is responsible for Anderson's death.
Ben Crump said, "Even though it had been told to us, the burden is on the family to show the state is responsible for his death. We believe the Florida Department of Justice should show they didn't kill him."
A former DJJ employee says he watched the video with a host of deputies while a narrator give a blow by blow description of what happened that morning.
Steven Meredith said, "To me, this was worse than the Rodney King incident. At that time Lynn Cheney was asked, ‘What did you think of it?’ She basically agreed this was pretty bad."
The special legislative committee heard several testimonies today during the six-hour hearing. Attorneys hope the special masters will support the governor's proposal and bring closure to this family once and for all.