April 18, 2013
It's been three and a half years since 20-year-old Morgan Harrington was abducted and murdered after a Metallica concert at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. The Harringtons say they are more determined than ever to find her killer, but police fear a civil lawsuit against the company in charge of security at JPJ the night Morgan disappeared, may compromise their investigation.
"We have gone through a series of difficult episodes and this is just one more bead on a long string," Morgan Harrington's mother Gil, spoke in front of the Charlottesville Circuit Courthouse following a hearing Thursday.
In March, the Harringtons filed a $3.9 million dollar lawsuit against Regional Marketing Concepts, Inc, suing the company for negligence and breach of contract. Attorneys for RMC filed paperwork, asking the Chief Medical Examiner's office in Richmond for a copy of Harrington's autopsy report and requesting access to the Virginia State Police Department's investigation into Harrington's murder. Lawyers for both VSP and the Harringtons objected to the requests.
"It's a very difficult situation to have a criminal and civil case at the same time," said Scott Goodman, a practicing defense attorney in Charlottesville. "The law enforcement people want to protect their investigation and they don't want any details of their investigation revealed before there is an arrest made."
Lee Livingston, an attorney for the Harringtons said finding Morgan's killer remained their top priority. "We want to do everything we can to continue to facilitate a criminal investigation and hopefully save the next girl."
Judge Edward Hogshire agreed with police and the Harringtons, calling it "premature" to ask police to give up their files.