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Family may appeal wrongful death verdict given by Alaska jury

A family may be appealing the verdict handed down by a jury in a wrongful death lawsuit. The jury found the owner of an Alaska gun store innocent of the charges against him concerning a 26-year-old man who was killed with a gun that was allegedly taken from the gun store. The trial in the wrongful death suit lasted two weeks with the jury deliberating approximately 10 hours before coming to a decision.

Testimony revealed the man who was convicted of shooting the young man entered the gun store before the murder and carried on a conversation with the owner for around 20 minutes. The discussion was about purchasing a particular type of rifle. The owner left the man alone for a few minutes and the man left the store with the rifle after placing $200 on the counter.

The woman's family alleges there was actually an illegal transaction between the store owner and the man and that store video evidence was destroyed to hide the sale. The owner says he will only claim responsibility in that the gun came from his store, but he says he has never intentionally entered into an illegal weapons transaction. The ATF has revoked his firearm license because of guns being missing, but he aims to stay in business selling other types of goods and he will not appeal the revocation.

In this case, the result of the initial wrongful death claim was not what the family desired. However, an appeal may bring about a completely different outcome, depending on the allegations and strength of the argument in the appellate case. Although money will never replace the presence of a loved one, families in Alaska who have lost someone through the negligence of another person may want to explore their options for financial compensation to cover costs related to burial, medical treatment and emotional care.

Source:, "Jury finds Ray Coxe not responsible for murder", Emily Russo Miller, June 16, 2015

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