Settlement OK'd in 'Mr. Mom' Killing

Los Angeles Daily Journal
December 6, 1995

A federal court judge has approved a $650,000 payment to settle a lawsuit that alleged an off-duty Internal Revenue Service agent who fatally shot a Bakersfield man during a traffic dispute violated the victim's civil rights.

In an order signed Monday, U.S. District Judge J. Spencer Letts wrapped up what started as a $30 million suit stemming from the shooting death of Mickey J. Smith, who was gunned down by IRS Special Agent Paul Hamilton Davis, Griffith v. Davis, CV94-4744-JSL.

The U.S. government will pay the $650,000 settlement to close the case filed by Smith's 3-year-old daughter. All causes of action against Davis, 45, at the time of the incident, will be dismissed, attorneys said.

The traffic altercation occurred on the Golden State Freeway in the San Fernando Valley on July 16, 1993. The 21-year-old Smith was a passenger in a rental truck that swerved in front of Davis' car. Davis followed the truck off the freeway and shot the unarmed victim after both men had exited their respective vehicles.

After reviewing the case, prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office cited a lack of evidence in deciding not to file homicide charges against Davis. The U.S. Department of Justice still could seek an indictment in a case investigated by the FBI.

Officials with the IRS said Davis is still employed by the agency. However, said "no disciplinary action was taken against him" other than a temporary assignment to a desk job.