The parents of a Georgia high school football star gunned down in the parking lot of a Dave & Buster’s outside Atlanta while on a date with his longtime girlfriend months ago have filed a civil lawsuit over the neighborhood’s pervasive criminal activity that comes as the second suspected killer pleaded not guilty.
Elijah DeWitt (18) was a Jefferson High School student who was recognized by NFL quarterback Cam Newton. In Lawrenceville, a suburb of Atlanta, he was found dead in the parking lot of Dave & Buster’s Sugarloaf Mall.
Chandler Richardson (19 years old) and Kenmare Bryan (18 years old), both from Lawrenceville, were taken to a South Carolina station. They were brought back to Georgia and charged with felony murder as well as malice murder.
FOX 5 Atlanta reported Richardson had pleaded guilty to all charges last week. Bryan had also pleaded guilty to the same charges last month.
Craig and Dawn DeWitt, the parents of their son, were co-administrators of his estate. On Friday, they filed a complaint against Simon Property Group LP seeking damages. Simon Property Group LP is the owner and operator of Sugarloaf Mall. Jason Choy, from Dave & Buster who was the security chief at Sugarloaf Mills, and Universal Protective Service LLC were named as defendants in the wrongful death suit.
Gwinnett County State Court filed the suit claiming that the premises had a history of previous crime. The suit also claims that the defendants knew of hazardous and dangerous conditions and that they were likely to cause injury or death for their invitees (Elijah included).
Chandler Richardson pleaded guilty last week to the murder of Elijah DeWitt
The lawsuit also claims that Elijah died because the defendants failed to warn visitors about a dangerous crime they knew of. DeWitt and his parents said that they hope that the lawsuit will hold them accountable and prevent other families from going through the same thing.
“This is not the dream we had for our son, instead it has become a daily nightmare that we are unable to wake up from. We are constantly reminded of the opportunities and moments that were taken away from him and sincerely hope that we can use our voices to help bring about some change that will prevent another family from experiencing this in the future,” Craig and Dawn DeWitt said in a statement.
Rafi Law Firm’s Michael Rafi states that businesses have two options if they find out their property is unsafe. Businesses have two options when they discover their property is unsafe. They can warn potential visitors to make them aware of the danger so that they can make informed decisions about whether or not they will visit the property. They can also choose not to warn potential visitors. They can choose to not warn visitors.
“Elijah was a man with his whole life ahead of him. He was eager to move on in his football career. His life ended on October 5, but this was preventable. Alex Brown, Attorney for Elijah stated that we intend to hold the defendants accountable for the tragedy and seek justice.
According to the complaint, “prior Oct. 5, 2022, there had been numerous reports of criminal activity at Premises as also in its immediate vicinity including aggravated assaults and car break-ins, as well as firearm-related crime, which the Defendants knew about.” “Dangerous criminal activities at Premises were reasonably foreseeable for this reason as well as many other reasons. ”
The plaintiffs claim that the defendants knew the premises were “highly criminal-prone”. They seek punitive damages as well as compensatory damages in an amount determined fair by a jury for all damages. These damages include damages for mental anguish, fright shock, and terror, funeral and burial expenses, future lost wages, and earning capacity which together make up Elijah DeWitt’s entire life.
Dave & Busters issued a statement to Fox News Digital stating that it sent its deepest condolences to the victims’ families. At this point, we are awaiting litigation and can’t comment.