Jury Clears Dover Marshal After Excessive Force Claim

Oct 6, 2015

A federal jury has ruled against a family that claimed a marshal used excessive force during a 2011 encounter with a 16-year-old boy and his mother on a street in Dover.

The decision Tuesday came moments after another defendant reached a $225,000 settlement in a lawsuit brought by Ron and Eva Robinson and their son Matthew.

The family alleged Dover deputy Steven Payton overreacted when he saw the boy with his mother. He said that, not knowing their relationship, he had a reason to stop and question them but that they became defiant and uncooperative.

Robinson lawyer Pat James said that jurors gave too much weight to the officers' testimony. James said a $225,000 settlement with law officer Kristopher Stevens was read into the court record before the jury returned.