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Judge Orders Charter/Spectrum to Pay $1.15 Billion to Family of Customer Murdered by Cabler’s Technician

A judge in Texas has ordered Charter Communications to pay $1.15 billion in punitive damages to the family of a pay-TV subscriber murdered by the cable operator’s technician.

The judgment is significantly lower than the $7 billion awarded by a Dallas County jury in July regarding the 2019 stabbing death of 83-year-old Charter customer Betty Thomas by Roy Holden Jr., an off-duty Charter technician who was in uniform and driving a company van.

Holden, who had serviced Thomas’ residence the day before, admitted to the robbery and murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

At the heart of the trial is the plaintiffs’ allegation that Charter was negligent in its background check of Holden. Charter claims that background checks of Holden showed “no arrests, convictions or other criminal behavior” that would suggest he was capable of committing such a horrific crime.

Charter contends Holden is solely responsible for his criminal actions and said it would appeal the judge’s decision, which reportedly seeks to pay $200 million to Thomas’ estate and $200 million to each of her four children.

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