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Judge OKs $42 million accord in case against teen slayer

SHARE Judge OKs $42 million accord in case against teen slayer

PADUCAH, Ky. — A judge has signed a settlement for $42 million in a civil case against the teenager who killed three girls in the Heath High School shootings.

Circuit Judge Will Shadoan said the lawsuit, filed by the victims' parents, was probably the hardest civil case he has faced in 17 years on the bench.

Michael Carneal opened fire in the school's lobby on Dec. 1, 1997.

His attorneys offered to settle, and on Thursday the plaintiffs issued a statement saying the families of Jessica James, Kayce Steger and Nicole Hadley had accepted. Five other students were wounded.

"I've had some pretty nasty cases," the judge said. "It's rough when you've had children who were killed or destroyed as the Carneal boy was."

The judgment means the civil trial scheduled to start Monday will not take place. It's doubtful the victims' families will collect the judgment because Carneal, 16, has no assets and will be in prison until at least 2022.