IN THE COURT OF CLAIMS OF THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
IN THE MATTER OF:
Sherlie L. Ellis
O R D E R
Claimant appeared in person and by counsel, William T. Forester, attorney at law.
Benjamin F. Yancey, III, Assistant Attorney General, for the State of West Virginia.
An application of the claimant, Sherlie L. Ellis, for an award under the West Virginia Crime
Victims Compensation Act, was filed January 31, 2006. The report of the Claim Investigator, filed
July 11, 2006, recommended that no award be granted. An Order was issued on September 29, 2006,
upholding the Investigator's recommendation and denying the claim, in response to which the
claimant's request for hearing was filed November 9, 2006. This matter came on for hearing April
25, 2007, the claimant appearing in person and by counsel, William T. Forester, and the State of West
Virginia by counsel, Benjamin F. Yancey, III, Assistant Attorney General.
The facts of this tragic claim are not in dispute. On November 29, 2005, Rhonda R.
Creakman, the claimant's 27-year-old daughter, was the victim of criminally injurious conduct in
Logan, Logan County. Ms. Creakman was riding as a passenger in her vehicle, being driven by David
Turner Jr., who lost control while racing another vehicle operated by his brother, Christopher Turner.
David Turner Jr. was charged with DUI felony death, driving with a revoked license, drag racing, and
This Court's initial denial of an award was based on a lack of information concerning a
wrongful death lawsuit and possible insurance coverage.
It was revealed at the hearing of this matter that the claimant seeks compensation not only for
outstanding ambulance, medical, and funeral expenses, but also dependent's economic loss for the
support of her grandchild, Gavin Creakman, son of victim Rhonda Creakman.
According to counsel for the claimant, the wrongful death lawsuit against the two offending
drivers is still pending in Logan County Circuit Court. Offender David Turner Jr. had motor vehicle
liability insurance coverage of $20,000.00. Any proceeds from that policy paid to the estate of the
victim would be subject to subrogation by the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court ruled in favor of the claimant and directed the
Claim Investigator to prepare an economic loss analysis of the claimant's unreimbursed allowable
Based on the Claim Investigator's findings, an award of $14,896.83 is hereby granted pursuant
to the Investigator's memorandum of May 21, 2007. Should documentation of any additional
unreimbursed allowable expenses be
presented at a later date, they will be reviewed by the Court at