Mother of ex-con killed by Fairfield police files wrongful death suit

By From page A3 | July 12, 2014

FAIRFIELD — The mother of an ex-con who was shot and killed by Fairfield police in July 2013 filed a wrongful death lawsuit this week against the department and the two officers involved in the shooting.

Janice Weeden’s son, Leigh Weeden, of Suisun City, got into a chase with police on the night of July 19, 2013, that began near the corner of East Tabor Avenue and Grande Circle.

Two Fairfield police officers, Chris Grimm and Eric Pulsipher, caught up to Weeden, 47, after he lost control of his black 2003 Hummer, crashing into an embankment alongside Bella Vista Drive. The officers say they returned fire after Weeden opened fire on them.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims Weeden was shot in the back more than 14 times.

The investigative report into the shooting is still pending at the Solano County District Attorney’s Office.

Weeden, a federal probationer at the time of the shooting, was looking at the possibility of being returned to prison for cocaine use. He was scheduled for a probation revocation hearing a week after the deadly confrontation. He previously did a 10-year prison sentence for an armed bank robbery in Reno, Nevada. Court records reflect that Weeden also had arrests for weapons offenses in several states.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and is scheduled to first be weighed by Judge David E. Power in October.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 15 comments

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  • Skeptic ScroogeJuly 12, 2014 - 12:18 am

    The pd should countersuit her as an unfit mother for raising it. Garnish her government checks to repay the bank he robbed.

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  • ThankYouJuly 12, 2014 - 5:22 am


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  • A.R.July 12, 2014 - 4:25 pm

    You only know what the media is telling you but you will soon know the truth as will everyone else...my mother has always worked legitimate jobs & has successful, college educated children (including the one being referred to). She earns an honest pay check working 60 plus hours a week NO GOVERNMENT CHECKS!!! She makes plenty of money & if you knew her you would feel like an ass for your comment but then again - maybe not! By the way, it doesn't take a genius to know that if you pull out a gun & point it at the police (if you're lucky enough to even get one shot out) when they RETURNED fire the bullet holes would be in the front. They're got going to give you time to run away! There are many facts of the case that are not being stated but like I said before, sit tight.

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  • LilJuly 12, 2014 - 5:36 pm

    You are including your brother as being one of the successful children your mother raised? He was convicted of robbing a bank, had numerous gun arrests in the past, had some kind of drug problem, and ran from the police. How do you conclude that he was successful? No offense to your mother because she might have done her best but your brother is not an example of successful child raising.

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  • A.R.July 13, 2014 - 2:34 pm

    I'm including him as being college educated...he too worked very hard & when a crane dropped on him at a construction site & became dependent of prescription drugs he later became addicted...Furthermore, all it takes is being there to be convicted of a crime & YES he might be guilty of being there but NO he was not armed! Since when did the newspaper start printing the truth? When did the cops start telling the truth? It is ignorant to believe everything you hear & if you believe everything that's reported in the media than I have some prime swamp land I'd like to sell to you!

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  • MikeJuly 12, 2014 - 5:46 am

    Why has the investigation of the incident taken a full year and still not concluded? Does that mean the officers are still on administrative leave with full pay? Do the citizens have to wait for the new DA for the results? Let's put this to rest.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 12, 2014 - 8:08 am

    He shot at the cops and tried to run, that is the surest way to get a load of ammo in the back. Dude's a good criminal now. Future criminals, watch and learn the Chris Rock video "How not to get your a** beat by the police."

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  • gemmaJuly 12, 2014 - 9:50 am

    IMO, being a mother doesn't mean you have to be there for your criminal child. If my son ever committed a crime against a child, he would no longer be my son. If he abused a woman, I wouldn't bail him out. Run from and shoot at the police, after doing time for robbing a bank, and he still didn't learn? I'd have to wash my hands of him, which does not include suing the city for his death. I just feel like helping a child in situations like that, esp when the child is 43, is condoning what he's doing. Was this guy "helping his mom" via dirty money, now he's gone and so is her income? I'm sure his juvenile record is full of crimes as well.

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  • omydarling21July 12, 2014 - 10:51 am

    That is wrongful death. He was shot 14 times in the back. So he had his back turned to the police. PLUS! Even if we have registered guns and a gun licence as a civilian, 14 shots is no longer defending yourself. If you shoot a burglar 14 times in their back in your front yard even if you're totally legit, even if they shot at you, your going to jail because he was trying to get away and because 14 shots would be considered over kill or excessive force. But hey, its okay for the police. Gotta love America.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 12, 2014 - 11:02 am

    ohmydarling21, Right. Don't wanna get shot 15, 20, thirty times? Don't shoot at cops! ;)

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  • A RamirezJuly 12, 2014 - 12:28 pm

    You cannot shoot at cops and not expect to be unloaded on. They never shoot a single shot, since they shoot only in defense, they all fire several at once . Don't shoot at cops. Frivolous lawsuit!

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  • GinaJuly 12, 2014 - 12:45 pm

    omydarling21 are you serious about your statement "14 shots would be considered over kill or excessive force" I will tell you what, you go out and try and shot a cop or anyone for that fact and see if you don't get the same or more because your stupid enough to think that way. What planet are you living on to even come up with that type of reply?? I would say what everyone here is thinking and wants to type in their post about you, but I think saying the "Circle of life in your type" is good enough. People can read between the line to figure our your post.

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  • SadforthecountryJuly 12, 2014 - 5:11 pm

    Considering the amount of police violence in Solano county I'm surprised to see everyone defending it. Everything isn't about money.

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  • just sayin'July 12, 2014 - 11:37 pm

    Ignorance is thinking the police have to wait for the armed felon to turn back towards them and fire at them again. He was wrong. His mother is wrong. I have no sympathy.

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  • Typical County WorkerJuly 12, 2014 - 4:52 pm

    How about any money received that doesn't just go to the attorney's pocket, from this lawsuit go to a nonprofit that tries to keep kids from being criminals. Since the plaintiff makes good money and her kids are well educated. I Wonder why he was an ex-con with what sounds like an excellent family.

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