Mother of slain teen suing VHA

Published 12:11 am Saturday, January 8, 2011

A wrongful death and negligence lawsuit has been filed against the Vicksburg Housing Authority by a woman whose 16-year-old son was stabbed to death on VHA property on New Year’s Eve, 2009.

In the suit filed this week, Lisa King says the VHA had a responsibility to provide proper security, and their failure to do so was “a breach of their duty” to residents.

King’s son Terry Tamal Robinson died just before midnight in the Waltersville Estates development off North Washington Street.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

About 15 minutes later, Deaunte Earl Lewis, 24, who lived at 713 Johnson St., was arrested and charged in Robinson’s death.

King’s suit claims that the VHA “had actual and constructive knowledge of the danger” that Lewis posed to King and other residents of Waltersville Estates, “as the attacker had caused problems on the premises before.”

The suit claims one count of negligence, one count of gross negligence and one count of wrongful death.

King is seeking unspecified damages, including amounts Robinson would have earned in his lifetime; the net cash value of his work life expectancy; pain, suffering and mental anguish; and other compensatory damages the court might find.

VHA officials could not be reached Friday night.

Terry Robinson, who was a ninth grader at Warren Central High School at the time of his death, lived with his mother and sister at 240 Tully Road in Waltersville Estates.

He died outside a home at 180 Walters St., just around the corner from his residence.

Police said that Lewis was also visiting that night at the Walters Street residence, and he and Terry became involved in a physical fight which escalated, with Lewis eventually stabbing the teen.

An autopsy confirmed the cause of death was one stab wound to the abdomen, Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey said.

Lewis had been on an early-release program from previous convictions of larceny of a motor vehicle and aggravated assault of a police officer, police said at the time.

He was indicted for murder by the Warren County Grand Jury in May, and was originally scheduled for trial Nov. 29.

The case was continued at that time, and the new trial date was not available.

Waltersville Estates is one of six developments in the city that is owned and maintained by the VHA, primarily with HUD funds.

The properties comprise 430 homes and apartments with income-adjusted rents.