08/12/06 The mother of Angie Leon, a Nampa woman who was shot to death by her estranged husband in May 2003, settled a lawsuit against Canyon County and Prosecutor Dave Young for $925,000, her attorney [Kevin Dinius] said Friday.
Sylvia Flores filed suit in February 2005, contending that Young failed to adequately train and supervise deputy prosecutors. Their failures, she said, resulted in Abel Leon being improperly released from jail in April 2003 despite being a known danger to Angie Leon. Less than a month later, Abel Leon pulled Angie Leon from a car in which her mother and children were riding and into her Nampa apartment, where he killed her with three shots execution-style, two to the head and one to the chest.
Abel Leon pleaded guilty in August 2004 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The shocking murder captured public attention in 2003, shined a spotlight on lax protections for victims of domestic violence and prompted several victims-rights efforts in Canyon County.
On Friday, as first reported at IdahoStatesman.com, Flores said she hopes the lawsuit and her daughter's death will have an effect on prosecutors and others who deal with Idaho domestic violence cases.
"I really had mixed feelings about settling," Flores said. "Is the message getting through? I hope it has. I want all those responsible for Angie's death to be accountable and to learn from it. I'm satisfied knowing that they wanted a settlement."
Flores is raising Leon's three children, now ages 4, 7 and 8. She said her family has been through enough, and they just want to move on with their lives in peace.
"I'm just exhausted," she said.
Young declined comment Friday on the Leon case or the settlement.
On April 23, 2003, less than a month before Angie Leon's death, Abel Leon had been released from jail after a plea agreement on a felony eluding police charge, even though he had more than three failure to appear warrants, more than 20 protection order violations and was a known danger to his estranged wife. He was freed on his own recognizance while awaiting sentencing on the charge.
Young admitted in 2003 that his staff's lack of experience and overwork contributed to Angie Leon's death.
In depositions in Flores' civil case in May of this year, Young said he was surprised to find out after Angie Leon's death that his deputies were allowing people to be released before sentencing after they'd made plea agreement that included time in jail or prison.
"It was never an accepted or formal policy," Young said in the deposition.
Young also said in the May deposition that not all the policy requirements issued by him May 21, 2003, as a result of Leon's death are being followed now, such as contacting victims within two week and routing all cases with plea changes to him.
Young did say in a phone interview Friday with the Idaho Statesman that his office has hired several experienced attorneys this year, including Deputy Prosecutor Lary Sison, assigned to oversee domestic violence cases.
"I'm confident of what Lary's doing and where the office is," Young said.
Flores never sought money, said Kevin Dinius, her attorney, but funds from the settlement will help her raise Leon's children and provide them with needed counseling in dealing with their mother's brutal death. "It's not getting easier," Flores said. "They're getting older, and it's starting to affect them more."
09/18/12 Gregerson v. Mercy Medical Center. Third Judicial District, Canyon County. A local doctor suffered severe personal injuries when he slipped and fell on the sidewalk leading into the OBGYN entrance of Mercy Medical Center shortly after a snowstorm. After a negligence suit was commenced, it was discovered that the curb slope of the sidewalk did not meet federal ADA standards. The hospital refused to offer more than $5,000 to settle the case. After a 3 day jury trial the jury awarded over $100,000, an amount 20 times larger than the hospital's best settlement offer.
Please direct all questions about this case to Kevin E. Dinius.
5680 East Franklin Road, Suite 130, Nampa, Idaho 83687 208.475.0100