Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Judge OKs $100,000 Settlement in Fatal Shooting of 84-Year-Old South County Woman

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Judge OKs $100,000 Settlement in Fatal Shooting of 84-Year-Old South County Woman

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS COUNTY * The family of an 84-year-old South County woman struck and killed by a bullet as she sat on her back porch has settled a lawsuit with a neighbor over her death.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Nellie Ribaudo on Friday approved a $100,000 settlement for the family of Betty Lou Knight, who died in June when a bullet hit her in the neck as she sat with her husband of 65 years on their back porch.

Raymond O. Bodicky's insurance policy will pay the settlement to Knight's 86-year-old husband, Dale Knight, and their three children. They accused Bodicky, their neighbor, of "negligently and carelessly" killing Betty Knight by shooting a gun across private property, in violation of county ordinance and state law.

Police said Bodicky was their only suspect in the shooting but prosecutors never charged him with a crime, citing the need for more evidence.

During the investigation, Bodicky acknowledged to police that he routinely shot squirrels in his backyard and fired at one near his bird feeder with a pellet rifle on the same afternoon Betty Knight was killed.

But he denied using any weapon except a pellet rifle, saying it was "too dangerous" and that the neighborhood was "not that type of area where people shoot their neighbors."

Bodicky did not attend Friday's settlement hearing in St. Louis County Circuit Court. He could not be reached, and his lawyer declined to comment. Court records say Bodicky is a retired widower with no criminal history in Missouri. He is retired from a medical and surgical device maker in downtown St. Louis.

One of the three sisters who sued Bodicky, Cindy Johnson, said Friday that she is glad the case is over but still grieves her mother's death. She said her father is inconsolable but is aware of the settlement.

"He felt like it gives Mom some justice," Johnson said Friday. "He feels like (Bodicky) settled because he's guilty."

Dale Knight was sitting beside his wife when a round from a .22- caliber gun struck her neck about 3:50 p. …

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