Local News

Ex-soldier, Moore County settle over Robin Sage shooting

Posted January 6, 2010

— A former Army sergeant who was wounded during a military training exercise almost seven years ago has reached a $1.2 million settlement with the Moore County Sheriff's Office and the former deputy who shot him.

Stephen Phelps and 1st Lt. Tallas Tomeny had been taking part in Robin Sage, an exercise that trains soldiers for Special Forces, in February 2002 when former Moore County deputy Randall Butler shot them.

Butler said the men were acting suspiciously in an area that had experienced a lot burglaries. He also said he saw two machine guns and that Tomeny had told Phelps to kill Butler.

Phelps and Charles Leiber, a civilian involved in the role-playing exercise, said they thought Butler stopping their vehicle was part of the exercise.

Tomeny's family settled their case against the sheriff's office and Butler in October, and a federal jury subsequently awarded Phelps $650,000 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages.

No punitive damages were included in Phelps' settlement, which was reached before the jury award was finalized.

As part of the settlement, Phelps agreed to dismiss his claims of civil rights violations by Butler and the sheriff's office.

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  • WRALcensorsforIslam Jan 6, 2010

    It is unfortunate that Moore County and their Sheriff's Department tried so long to deny the truth of what their deputy did. Justice was denied, however, in that the deputy was not criminally charged, tried, and convicted. The Army should declare Moore County off limits to GI's (as it does to places where GI's are victimized by criminals). Since that Sheriff's Department doesn't see a problem performing a roadside execution of a GI involved in a training exercise THEY WERE INFORMED OF IN ADVANCE and had even participated in in prior years it is a place of danger to military personnel.

    Governor Perdue should be screaming about the local officials and Sheriff's department in Moore County the way she is screaming about the pending release of these convicted murderers serving faux "life" sentences.