KING COUNTY, Wash. - The Department of Corrections today agreed to pay $3.275 million to help compensate the family of King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Steve Cox who was killed in 2006 by an offender under community supervision.
Cox was investigating an incident at a home in the White Center neighborhood of Seattle on Dec. 2, 2006 when Raymond Porter shot and killed him. Porter died from a gunshot wound shortly after being taken from the scene of the incident.
Porter was under DOC community supervision after serving prison sentences for drug offenses, assault and failing to return to work release. The Cox family claimed that DOC was negligent in its supervision of Porter.
The widow and 4-year-old son of Deputy Steve Cox claimed the state Department of Corrections was negligent in its supervision of Raymond Porter, a drug offender who had been released from prison in August 2006 and killed Cox in December 2006.
The original $22 million claim against the state, filed a year after his death, alleged prison officials let Porter out of prison too soon. He had been serving time at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center outside Aberdeen for drug and assault convictions and was released only four months before he killed Cox.
“Deputy Cox was a courageous and beloved officer who protected his community and we all are diminished by his loss,” said DOC Secretary Eldon Vail. “We sympathize with the loss of love, compassion, nurturing and other immeasurable qualities Steve Cox brought to his family. The Department of Corrections is deeply saddened and heartsick over the death of Deputy Cox. We hope the Cox family can begin to put part of this tragedy in the past and begin healing.”
DOC also implemented a number of measures designed to improve supervision of offenders in the community at the direction of Gov. Chris Gregoire following this and two other cases involving deaths of law enforcement officers.
Those measures included a new range of sanctions, including jail time, intended to respond to the severity of offenders’ violations of community supervision conditions. The measures also included increased use of chemical dependency treatment and other programs that have proven to be effective in helping offenders.
As part of the settlement, Cox’s wife and child have released their claims against the Department and its employees.