Parents of slain Dutch Fork student sue Cook Out restaurant due to negligence
LEXINGTON, S.C. (WACH)-- The parents of Da'Von Capers, the teen who was stabbed to death in 2014 in a Lexington restaurant parking lot, have sued the restaurant for not providing better security.
The lawsuit alleges that the Cook Out in Lexington failed to call law enforcement and failed to have security at the restaurant knowing that students would be at the restaurant prior to the rival game of Dutch Fork High School and Lexington High School.
"Cook Out had no security personnel and no additional staff at the restaurant that evening," according to the lawsuit.
Laronzo and Charlene Capers also argue that the employees of the restaurant went out into the parking lot anticipating a fight and did not call law enforcement or take any steps to diffuse the escalating confrontations.
The family allege that the managers at the eatery "knew or should have known" that numerous students from the schools would be arriving after the game and that "tensions between the students would be high," being that the schools were rivals.
They argue that Cook Out "took no steps to disburse the crowd or dismiss those loitering and causing tension among the customers."
The Capers' also sued Kierin Dennis, a 2014 graduate of Lexington High School, who stabbed their 17-year-old son.
Dennis, who was a recent graduate at the time of the killing, said he stabbed Capers in self-defense.
Dennis said he was in his car at the Lexington restaurant and was surrounded by students from Dutch Fork, including Capers.
Dennis admitted to stabbing Capers as he feared for his life when Capers stood by his driver's side window because he thought he was a threat, and then drove away.
Todd Rutherford represented Dennis in his criminal trial and argued that his client felt he was in immediate danger and was acting in self-defense.
The main issue in the trial was whether Dennis or Capers was the aggressor.
During the seven day trial, the jury heard from several witnesses and viewed numerous videos showing where Dennis stabbed Capers in the liver and heart.
One student testified during the trial saying that Dennis said, “Meet us at Cookout. We got something for y’all.”
Witnesses during the trial also argued that Capers did not make any hostile moves towards Dennis as he was standing outside of the car.
Neither of the men knew each other prior to the fatal incident.