Judge to decide on DuBose family money dispute

Posted at 11:25 AM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 17:39:01-04

CINCINNATI – A judge will decide how family members of Sam DuBose will split up $4.85 million from a settlement with the University of Cincinnati.

DuBose, 43, was shot and killed by a former UC police officer last summer.

In January, DuBose’s family agreed to a settlement with the university for $4.85 million and free tuition for his children. Nearly two-dozen people have filed claims on the estate, including DuBose’s parents, children and other relatives.

According to Raegan Brooks, DuBose's daughter and the estate administrator, 90 percent of the settlement money was slated to go to DuBose's children. Five percent would go to DuBose's mother, Audrey DuBose, four of DuBose's brothers and sisters would each receive 1 percent and his father, Sam Johnson, would also receive 1 percent.

Some family members have disagreed with the shares of the settlement allotted to them. Judge Ralph Winkler heard closing arguments in the case Wednesday morning.


Konrad Kircher, the attorney for the administrator, advocated for the plan to give DuBose's children most of the settlement money, saying they need the money to build their lives.

"Audrey is advanced in age and the four siblings are well on their way to very successful careers, whereas these children are just starting out in life," Kircher said.

Brooks accused their older family members of being greedy.

"You should want your grandkids to have the majority of the money, and you shouldn't have it all for yourself," she said.

However, Audrey DuBose's attorney, Lindsay Lawrence, said Audrey deserved a larger share -- 7 percent -- because of her relationship with her son "and based upon the grief and loss that she suffered."

DuBose's father was also seeking a larger portion of the money, but Audrey DuBose said the father and son hadn't been close.

"From the time of birth until now, he hasn't seen him 25 times in his whole life," she said.

Kircher said he believed DuBose's children had the greatest loss because they were the ones who no longer had a father.

Winkler said he was inclined to allocate the greatest amount of money to DuBose's children, but he wouldn't just hand them the cash. The court will ensure the money is not squandered.

"We're not going to make distributions for school clothes, for cell phones and for cars," Winkler said. "The court is going to hold their money for their benefit, to when they're old enough to spend it in a responsible and mature way."