Local News

Family of dead Harnett man to sue deputy

Posted April 12, 2016

— One day after a Harnett County grand jury declined to initiate criminal charges against a deputy involved in a fatal shooting last fall, the dead man's family said Tuesday they will press their case in civil court through a lawsuit.

John Livingston, 33, was shot and killed on the front porch of his Spring Lake home Nov. 15 by Deputy Nicholas Kehagias.

Deputies arrived at Livingston's Everett Street home to investigate a reported assault. Witnesses say Livingston told deputies the couple they were looking for didn't live there, and when deputies asked to search the home, he refused because they didn't have a search warrant.

Authorities said Livingston then became combative and was shot.

The grand jury decided there wasn't enough evidence of wrongdoing to indict Kehagias, which upset Livingston's family and friends.

"We certainly believe there was probable cause that a crime was committed," family attorney Robert Zaytoun said at a news conference, "based upon what I think is going to be uncontroverted (evidence) about what happened and what placed those deputies in the home wrongfully of John Livingston."

Livingston's mother stood next to Zaytoun during the news conference at the Harnett County Courthouse, but she declined to comment.

Zaytoun said the family would pursue the lawsuit outside of Harnett County.

"We're looking at all of the potentially responsible parties, including those directly responsible for the death or those who could have prevented it, all with an investigative eye," he said.


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  • Roger Way May 17, 2016
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    When will people learn that fighting the police simply makes things worse. So, they didn't have a warrant or they had an incorrect warrant - Fine! Voice your refusal and let them do what they're going to do one way or the other. You're covered. They can't use anything against you! Resist and you stand a good chance of being arrested, hurt, or worse. Fight them in court where it counts - not on your front stoop.

  • Dan Wilder Apr 14, 2016
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    Sue a guy who probably only makes $22,000.00 a year?? yea I'm sure that will get you a lot.

  • Bernadette Dan Unger Apr 13, 2016
    user avatar

    Yeah, do that, and the next time you're being raped or beaten, call a lawyer. I see way too many instances of people acting like a J.A. when dealing with cops, instead of simply closing their traps and following instructions. Then when they are arrested or tased, it is always the cops fault. Been stopped a couple of times and even once had a gun in the front seat, but I followed directions, no problems. Seems to me the answer to these peoples problems is not a court, but common sense. (Dan)

  • Brian Walker Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    I hope they lose. Cooperate with LEO and it will turn out different. Combination of alcohol and cocaine. We MUST live by the choices we make or die by them. He made the wrong choice.

  • Betsy Riggins Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    I am glad to see the family pursuing this and hope the go after every agency involved.

  • Rudy Bizzell Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Sue the dept they have deeper pockets