The estate of a 30-year-old Renton man who was fatally shot in the packed Munchbar nightclub in Bellevue on Christmas Eve in 2012 was awarded $3.7 million by a King County Superior Court jury this week. The victim’s sister, also injured in the shooting, was awarded $520,000.
The estate of a 30-year-old Renton man who was shot and killed in a packed Bellevue nightclub on Christmas Eve 2012 has been awarded $3.7 million by a King County jury.
The sister of victim DeShawn Milliken, who was wounded in the same shooting at the now-shuttered Munchbar, was awarded $520,000, according to the court.
Jurors in the civil trial found that Brewhaha Bellevue, the owner of Munchbar, was liable for the bulk of damages but also assigned some fault to the victims for starting the fight that ended in the shooting.
Milliken and his sister Destiny Milliken were among as many as 600 people at the club in Bellevue Square, including several Seattle Seahawks, who were partying and celebrating a Seahawks win against the San Francisco 49ers the day before.
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Around 1 a.m., the two siblings got into an argument with Ja’Mari Alexander-Alan Jones, who was 19 at the time.
According to the family’s wrongful-death suit, Munchbar employees failed to prevent the underage Jones from entering the nightclub and failed to frisk him for weapons.
Security video from the Mirror Lounge in Munchbar showed Jones talking with a man near Milliken and his sister, according to the suit. Milliken seemed to recognize Jones and tackled him. Destiny Milliken appeared to fight with the other man, Michael Cheatham, who had entered the bar with Jones.
About 8 seconds later, DeShawn Milliken turned away from Jones but was then tackled by Cheatham.
Jones then pulled out a handgun, pointed it at Milliken and fired at least five shots. Milliken was fatally wounded, and his sister and another bar patron were injured, court documents say.
The shooting prompted Kemper Freeman Jr., developer of Bellevue Square, to close down Munchbar.
According to court documents, jurors determined that DeShawn Milliken was responsible for 20 percent of the incident; Destiny Milliken bore 5 percent of the responsibility; and that the owners of Munchbar were liable for the remaining 75 percent, or $3.16 million.
According to the court, the sole beneficiary of DeShawn Milliken’s estate is his 8 year-old daughter who lives in Arizona.
Jones pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder for the shooting and was sentenced in January to 18 years in prison.
Jones was among a group of teens convicted in the 2008 killing of street musician Ed “Tuba Man” McMichael.
He pleaded guilty in April 2009 to manslaughter in the death of 53-year-old McMichael, who was beaten during an October 2008 robbery near Seattle Center and later died of his injuries. Jones was 16 at the time.
Jones, Billy Chambers and Kenneth Kelly served time in Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration detention for McMichael’s death.
Because no witnesses came forward after McMichael’s death, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said, his office was forced to charge the three teens as juveniles instead of seeking to have them charged as adults, which would have meant longer sentences.