Contra Costa County and the family of a 19-year-old man are being sued by the parents of a boy the man allegedly stabbed to death in Discovery Bay last year for their actions leading up to the incident, according to court records.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California last month, alleges county sheriff's deputies, health workers and the suspect's family failed to properly respond to warning signs before the 9-year-old boy was killed on April 26, 2015.
Jordon Almgren was found suffering stab wounds in a bed at a home in the 1900 block of Frost Way by sheriff's deputies at 10 a.m. that day. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
William Shultz, a friend of Jordon's older brother who had spent the night in the home, was arrested several hours later at a Kaiser Permanente medical center in Antioch on suspicion of stabbing Almgren.
It was later revealed that Shultz had undergone a voluntary mental health evaluation the day before Almgren was killed.
Sheriff's Deputy Miguel Aguilera was called to the Shultz home after his mother reported she was concerned about his violent behavior, according to the federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Almgren's parents,
Aguilera discovered a large Bear Grylls-brand hunting knife in Shultz's knapsack that the teen allegedly used later to kill Almgren, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges the knife was not properly reported and that he was allowed to keep it in his possession after a county mental health clinician evaluated and released him despite signs he was mentally ill.
Attorney Michael Verna, who is representing the Almgren family, is arguing in the federal lawsuit that the boy was deprived of his civil rights because of these actions.
"It's inexcusable for us to have a system where a sheriff's (office) doesn't do its job and a county health department doesn't do its job ... and the result is that a 9-year-old is savagely stabbed to death," he said.
The lawsuit aims to prove the named defendants were "deliberately indifferent" to the danger Shultz posed.
Sheriff's officials were not immediately available to respond to the lawsuit.
The county has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on legal grounds of immunity. Verna said an opposition to this motion was then filed in response Wednesday.
In addition to the county, the lawsuit is also naming Shultz and his parents as defendants.
It is alleged that the suspect's parents never warned the victim's family of his violent behavior despite the fact that he was going to sleep at their house the same evening he was evaluated for it.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified financial damages as well as the payment of funeral and burial expenses.