Local News

Ex-soldier, Moore County settle over Robin Sage shooting

Posted January 6, 2010 12:48 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2010 1:07 p.m. EST

— 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.