Local News

Court: Deputy Can Be Sued in 'Robin Sage' Death

Posted November 16, 2007 3:56 p.m. EST

— The state Court of Appeals has ruled that a former Moore County deputy who mistakenly killed one soldier and wounded another during a military exercise can be sued.

Moore County Deputy Randall Butler fired on soldiers in February 2002 after he pulled over their truck near Robbins, saw weapons and felt threatened when they tried to disarm him.

First Lt. Tallas Tomeny was killed and Sgt. Stephen Phelps was wounded in the incident.

The soldiers were participating in a Special Forces training mission called "Robin Sage" that involved civilians. Authorities said miscommunication left Butler unaware of the exercise, and they cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.

But a civil lawsuit filed against Butler alleges that he used excessive force.