(03/31/2016)
A Clay County jury awarded WCHS-TV reporter Bob Aaron monetary damages Wednesday for pain and suffering after a 2014 attack while on assignment.

Aaron was filming a case related to alleged animal abuse.

Howard Lilly, of Bomont, must pay about $11,000 for the pain and suffering he caused Aaron, a jury ruled after a trial, which began Wednesday in Clay County Circuit Court. Some of that amount also includes punitive damages.

Lilly pleaded no contest last year to a felony charge of destruction of property. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop felony robbery and grand larceny charges.

Aaron went to Bomont in July 2014 to investigate reports of animal cruelty to several horses and donkeys. While filming, Lilly allegedly took Aaron's camera tripod and attacked the television reporter with it. Aaron received some serious injuries and the lens of his camera was smashed.

As part of the plea agreement in the criminal case against Lilly, he agreed to pay $2,800 to WCHS-TV for damage to the camera and more than $2,000 in medical expenses for Aaron.

The trial Wednesday was for a civil suit filed by Aaron. Jurors deliberated about 45 minutes.


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