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County Supervisors Approve Tentative Settlement in Mitrice Richardson Case

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles County Supervisors have voted to pay nearly $1 million Tuesday to settle the wrongful death lawsuit of Mitrice Richardson, but the deal still needs to be finalized.

The 24-year-old woman may have been manic when she disappeared following her nighttime release from the Lost Hills/Malibu sheriff’s station. Her body was found nearly a year later in the Malibu backcountry.

The county Board of Supervisors approved a $900,000 settlement in a closed-door meeting Aug. 16, subject to all parties signing a final agreement, according to county counsel Roger Grabo.

“The settlement is not final,” Grabo said, declining to say more.

Richardson was arrested at the Malibu restaurant Geoffrey’s, on the evening of Sept. 16, 2009, for failing to pay her bill and was released early the next day without her car, telephone or purse.

Richardson’s decomposing body was found in Malibu Canyon the following August. A coroner’s investigator criticized deputies for moving Richardson’s remains when they were first found. The investigator said she later found a finger bone at the site, and authorities recovered eight more bones in February.

Her parents filed separate wrongful death lawsuits that were later consolidated. They contended deputies should not have released their daughter into the night, given her mental state.

The young woman may have been manic at the time of her arrest. A diary recovered from her car, which had been seized because deputies found some marijuana in it, suggested that she may have gone without sleep for as many as five days before her arrest.

In July, Richardson’s parents exhumed her body and hired a private pathologist to investigate. Attorneys for the Richardsons were unavailable for immediate comment.


(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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