SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A jury recently sided with a Georgia man who was shot seven times in 2016 after performing at The Barn in Sanford, awarding him $5 million in a civil suit on Friday.
- Performer filed civil suit, saying there was inadequate security
- Attorney says final award could be reduced by "millions"
- Dezje Williams says he suffered facial scarring, lost income
- PREVIOUSLY: Performer shot outside The Barn in Sanford
However, an attorney for two of the entities that Dezje Williams sued expects the final award will be reduced by "millions."
"That particular verdict is not likely to stand," said attorney Scott Tacktill, who represented the entity that operated The Barn at the time and the landlord of the hangout at 1200 S. French Ave.
Silver Saddle Entertainment, the operator of The Barn at the time of the shooting, was found 75 percent responsible.
Twenty-five percent of the responsibility was assigned to a contracted security firm The Barn no longer uses.
The landlord, JTV Investment LLC, was found to have no liability. Principals of JTV Investment LLC now run The Barn and are committed to keeping everyone safe, Tacktill said.
Armor Bearer Security, the security company hired by The Barn to provide security the night of the shooting, is not involved with the popular nightclub, Tacktill noted.
The jury assigned 25 percent of the responsibility on Armor Bearer Security. A message to an attorney for the security firm wasn’t immediately returned.
Williams, now 29, was shot seven times in the parking lot and was critically injured with "facial scarring, broken ribs, lung complications, scaring and a retained bullet in his face," a statement from Charlip Law Group of Miami said Monday. That firm, along with Ortavia Simon of Simon Law Group in Maitland, represented Williams.
He filed suit in Seminole County in October 2017, alleging the three defendants failed to provide adequate security. As a result, the suit says, Williams incurred pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical problems, and lost income. "These losses are either permanent or continuing and Plaintiff will suffer losses in the future," the suit says.
Williams no longer performs. He was shot August 15, 2016. Three days later, Sanford Police announced the arrest of Traveus D'Kamion Lemon.
An arrest report says cops got tips saying Lemon was the shooter. Lemon told cops he was at The Barn the night of the shooting but didn’t do it.
Police said the shooting was retribution for Lemon’s friend getting shot when he tried to take a diamond chain from Williams in a failed robbery in the historic Goldsboro area of Sanford a week earlier.
Lemon was charged with attempted first-degree homicide and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He accepted a deal with prosecutors May 31, 2018, entering no-contest pleas to both charges. He was adjudicated guilty. He got 10 years for the attempted homicide and three years for the gun charge. He also received credit for 654 days he already served in jail.
Lemon, now 27, is currently being held at the Mayo Correctional Institution in North Florida. His scheduled release date is April 13, 2026.