The widow and children of a former BREC commissioner shot to death last year have obtained a $5.6 million judgment against Ryan Sharpe, the alleged serial killer accused — but not yet tried or convicted — in the killing.
State District Judge Tim Kelley issued the default judgment after Sharpe, 37, of Clinton, failed to answer a wrongful death lawsuit filed in December by Carroll Breeden Sr.'s widow and five children.
The family of Carroll Breeden Sr. has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against alleged serial killer Ryan Sharpe, who is accused of fatally shoo…
Sharpe is accused in a string of four shootings, three of them fatal, during a four-month span beginning in July 2017 and within a 25-mile radius of the Clinton area.
Sharpe allegedly shot Breeden from a moving vehicle on Sept. 19, 2017, while the 66-year-old Breeden was doing yard work at his Pride-Port Hudson Road home just across the East Feliciana Parish line in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Baton Rouge lawyer Kirk Patrick, who represents the Breeden family, said the lawsuit "was never about the money and still isn't."
"No amount of money could ever repay the family for what this man has taken from them," Patrick said. "What is important is that Judge Kelley heard our evidence … and in turn provided the family with the only thing he could, an award of damages.
"The family felt that Sharpe should be held accountable for his actions in every way possible, which includes civilly as well as criminally," Patrick added.
Sharpe, who has pleaded not guilty in all four shootings, told investigators he shot the men to fill hunting "tags" issued to him by the government, according to an East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office report. Sharpe said he had other tags that hadn't been filled when he was arrested in October 2017, the report states.
Sharpe, who is accused of fatally shooting Thomas Bass and Brad DeFranceschi in East Feliciana and also shooting and wounding Buck Hornsby in that parish, was found incompetent to stand trial by an East Feliciana judge in August.
Sharpe is currently receiving treatment at the state mental hospital in Jackson.
In late May, Kelley awarded $2.5 million in wrongful death damages to Breeden's widow, D'Ann Watson Breeden, and a combined $2.5 million in wrongful death damages to his five children.
The judge also awarded $500,000 to Breeden's wife for mental anguish and emotional distress; $100,000 in survivor damages; and about $12,000 for funeral expenses.
A judge in East Feliciana ruled Tuesday that alleged serial killer Ryan Sharpe is not competent to stand trial, a decision that will halt crim…
Two of the three doctors who examined Sharpe in the Breeden case in East Baton Rouge concluded he is not currently competent to assist his attorney, Tommy Damico. A state judge in Baton Rouge is scheduled to rule on Sharpe's competency in that case in late January.
A man accused of killing three Clinton-area men last year told investigators he shot them because — as though he were deer hunting — he was "f…
Damico, who represents Sharpe only in the criminal cases, questioned how a default judgment could be entered against someone who is mentally incompetent.
"If they served him and he's incompetent, I don't know how they could get a default judgment," Damico said. "The competency of the client was certainly pending."
As for the $5.6 million judgment, Damico said Sharpe "does not have that kind of money." The attorney also said Sharpe doesn't have insurance to cover the judgment.
Sharpe is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of DeFranceschi, 48, outside his home on the Avondale Scout Reservation on La. 63 in Clinton; with second-degree murder in the slayings of Bass, 62, outside his La. 960 residence, and Breeden; and with attempted first-degree murder in the shooting injury of Hornsby outside his home, which is close to La. 63.