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Jury holds Charter responsible for death of woman murdered by cable technician

A Charter Spectrum service truck on a snowy street.

Enlarge / A Charter Spectrum service truck in McKinney, Texas, on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

A Texas jury last week found that Charter Communications was responsible for the death of an 83-year-old woman murdered in her home by a Spectrum cable technician who is now serving a life sentence.

A six-member jury at Dallas County Court awarded the family of murder victim Betty Thomas $375 million in compensatory damages, of which Charter would have to pay 90 percent ($337.5 million). The jury unanimously found that Charter’s negligence was a proximate cause in the 2019 death and assigned 90 percent of the responsibility to Charter and 10 percent to convicted murderer Roy Holden, according to a court document. Holden, who robbed and murdered Thomas one day after a service call, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison in April 2021.

Charter’s financial liability could end up being much higher because the jury has not yet decided on punitive damages. The punitive damages phase of the trial is scheduled to begin on July 6.

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