What is the name of your state? Louisiana
A friend of mine lost a cousin to murder....the victim was evidently shot in the back and left to bleed to death in bed by his girlfriend. The girlfriend waited about 5 hours, got cleaned up, and drove to the sheriff's office and told the deputy on duty "I think my boyfriend is hurt". The deputy called EMS and took the girlfriend back to the residence, saw that the victim was shot, and asked the girlfriend, "Did you do this?", to which she responded in the affirmative by looking down and shaking her head sort of like a little kid. They asked her where the gun was, and she responded saying that it was "in [her] truck". They arrested her, allowed her to call her family and speak with them, and waited until the next day to retrieve the gun with a warrant. Between the time that she talked and the truck's search, they simply left the truck where it was, parked there, unguarded. The next day, there was no gun there, and there is common speculation that the family removed it. After she spoke to her family she lawyered up and clammed up. As strange as this sounds, there was NOTHING else done...no crime scene photos, no investigation beyond cursory questioning of some family members, etc., no crime scene measurements, no physical evidence gathering AT ALL, no nothing, and I mean that very literally.
This was maybe 2-1/2 to 3 years ago, and she has been in the parish jail since that time, denied bail. The legal maneuverings since that time have included some move to strike her "confession", which has failed and appeal time has run on same. The trial was set for about a month ago, but was reset for September, to which he victims kids really raised nine kinds of hell. I sympathised with them, but I told them that at least she was in jail now, which should be some consideration for them, and I said that if she does walk, better for their feelings that it be later than sooner. My friend and his second cousins, the victim's children, replied to me that no matter what, it is their definite intention to take action against the sheriff's office if this lady did in fact walk....Now, I started to try to "gently" tell them that as wrong as it seemed (and was) that the sheriff's office botched the investigation, and I mean hugely, bordering if not exhibiting blatant malfeasance, that I did not think that they had much if any sort of recoverable lawsuit...they quickly, strongly, and steadfastly pooh-poohed that, and that was the end of that....they would not even discuss it, saying that "the prosecutor told [them] that they had an excellent case" and that he "would testify" for them about all the screw-ups on the part of the SO, and they are sure, and I mean positive, that they are in a position for a HUGE recovery against the SO. I went to a criminal hearing with them at one time a couple months ago, and I even heard the prosecutor make references to them about this hugely botched "investigation" myself, so I believe that as strange as it sounds that this is totally true and not simply seen from the victim's family's eyes as such. Now, for all I know they may be right, and may have a recoverable case, but the way damages and such are, it just kinda seems like they can't really recover any money here. The sheriff is outgoing, leaving in a couple months, and a new sheriff will be there soon, so I doubt this sort of thing would ever happen again, but the victim's kids are dead set that they have an iron-clad case and that will allow them to "financially cripple" the SO, and they are sure that if this lady walks that it is simply a matter of filing suit and a sound victory will soon follow. They even went so far as to believe that they have a viable suit against the SO if she is found guilty, but I am confident that the thought that recovery is available in the absence of damages is ludicrous...you can't recover damages because something "could have happened".
I understand their being really pissed off about this, especially if she walks, but I swear for the life of me I just don't think that they have much if any civil action available here against the SO....I say that only because it "seems like" that to me, as stupid as that sounds...I guess mainly because I have never heard of any precedent. The answer to this will come soon enough, when they shop counsel, but I am very curious about this right now, and would appreciate any thoughts and input you guys and girls have. I say that this is a civil wash, that there are essentially no recoverable damages here if she does walk, but again, I may be totally wrong. What are ya'll's thoughts on this matter?