Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

County Pays $500,000 for Negligent Supervision of Probationer

Washington’s Whatcom County has settled a claim that it was negligent in failing to monitor the actions of a probationer for $500,000. The lawsuit was brought by the parents of Michael C. Busby, Jr., 8, who was killed by the probationer.

The probationer, Ryan Alexander, was on juvenile home detention for 20 days for a theft charge. That detention began on April 11, 2002. On April 12 and 13, Alexander failed to respond to computerized telephone verification calls to his home, a violation of his probation.

On April 18, Busby came over to watch Alexander build a fish pond in his backyard. Busby continued to pester Alexander with repeated questions about the fish pong. After leaving his home to avoid Busby, Alexander returned to avoid violating his probation.

He then took Alexander to a nearby field where he choked him with a towel, injected him with a large dose of insulin, and used razor blades to cut his body. Busby’s estate alleged that the County was negligent for failing to monitor Alexander’s movements and follow up on his failure to respond to the calls.

Ryan was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Whatcom County settled the lawsuit on May 29, 2007. The estate was represented by Attorney William R. Coats. See: Busby v. Alexander, Skagit Co. Super. Co., No. 05-2-01498-1.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Busby v. Alexander