Horry County, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The family of a 3-year-old Horry County girl killed in a 2005 car accident has been awarded $10.2 million in punitive damages in civil court.
An attorney representing the family of Erica Bellamy says the 3-year-old was killed in a 2005 car accident sparked by a suicide pact made between 17-year-old Christopher Jones and his girlfriend. Jones, a paraplegic from a previous car accident, drove a custom-made Chevrolet Tahoe into the Bellamy family van at 100 mph.
Jones' girlfriend was inside of the van at the time of the accident and survived.
In a previous criminal case against Jones, the teen pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault and battery with intent to kill charges. A judge sentenced the teen to 21 years behind bars.
Attorney Thomas Brittain opened a civil lawsuit against Jones on behalf of the Brittain family, which yielded an award of $750,000 in actual damages and an additional $10.2 million in punitive damages.