A Ritchie County woman has filed a wrongful death suit over her brother's death after he was shot by a West Virginia State Police trooper during a traffic stop.

Mary Gail Whaley, individually and as administratrix of the estate of Clarence Clemmons Layfield Jr., deceased filed a complaint in Kanawha Circuit Court against Trooper 1st Class C.T. Speece and the West Virginia State Police alleging wrongful death and negligence.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on Jan. 17, 2017, defendant Speece was attempting to stop Layfield, a suspected impaired person with no license on the vehicle. The suit states Speece began approaching Layfield's vehicle and the vehicle began moving. As Layfield moved towards Speece, the suit states the defendant began shooting at the vehicle, striking Layfield with multiple gunshot wounds and causing his death.

The plaintiff holds Speece and the West Virginia State Police responsible because defendant WVSP allegedly failed to properly evaluate and screen employees prior to hiring and failed to properly train them on proper police procedures.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensatory, punitive and general damages; prejudgment and post-judgment interest; attorney fees; costs and all other relief that is just and proper. She is represented by William O. Merriman Jr. of Bill Merriman PLLC in Parkersburg. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer F. Bailey.

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