Mother of Aztec High shooting victim petitions to possibly pursue wrongful death lawsuit
FARMINGTON — A petition has been filed in district court by the mother of a teenage girl killed in the Aztec High School shooting to possibly pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Casey Marquez's mother, Jamie Lattin, filed on Oct. 22 a petition for expedited appointment as her daughter's personal representative under the New Mexico Wrongful Death Act in Eleventh Judicial District Court.
The petition states Lattin seeks appointment as personal representative to investigate and possibly pursue a lawsuit under state law, according to the petition.
Lattin declined to comment on the petition.
Francisco "Paco" Fernandez and Marquez, both 17, were killed during the Dec. 7, 2017, shooting at Aztec High.
The mother filed a separate lawsuit against Aztec Superintendent Kirk Carpenter and the Aztec Municipal School District Board of Education on Sept. 23.
The Sept. 23 complaint alleges the defendants were negligent in the sexual abuse and harassment of her daughter by a former Aztec High School teacher, according to The Daily Times archives.
Former ethics and math teacher James Coulter is accused of two felony counts of criminal sexual contact with another 17-year-old Aztec high student in 2015. He was the assistant athletics coach for the AHS girls cheerleading team.
The lawsuit claims Coulter admitted to two incidents of sexual contact with Marquez and that he kissed her and hugged her, which caused much stress and anxiety for the girl. There is no jury trial scheduled for Coulter.
The defendants have not filed a response to the complaint.
New court documents
The Oct. 22 petition details how a personal representative is appointed by a district court for the purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit, according to the petition.
It details the information on the daughter, including city of residence, who she resided with, her parents and who had legal custody of Marquez.
Lattin requests expedited processing of the petition as the statute of limitations for filing any state tort claims for wrongful death in this case will expire on Dec. 7.
The girl's biological father, Frederick Russell Marquez, on Oct. 26 filed additional court documents in support of Lattin's petition.
The filing by Frederick states he does not oppose the mother's appointment as the personal representative and gives his consent for Lattin's appointment to investigate and pursue a possible claim for the wrongful death of Casey.
District Judge Curtis Gurley is assigned to the case and had not ruled on the petition as of the morning of Oct. 30.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Editor's Note: Dates have been modified in the story.