UPDATED: Rev. Markel Hutchins’ image gets a second black eye after he sues the estate of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, who was killed in a botched police raid on her northwest Atlanta home, alleges her niece Sarah Dozier verbally agreed to pay him 10% of any money awarded by city of Atlanta.
|Rev. Markel Hutchins (Facebook)|
Rev. Markel Hutchins, who once ran against civil rights stalwart John Lewis, is in the news again and, quite frankly, it’s a sad turn of events in a seemingly tempestuous life. He is suing the estate of Kathryn Johnston, the elderly Atlanta woman who was killed in a botched police raid in her northwest Atlanta home. According to the AJC, Hutchins, who was the spokesman for the 92 year old woman’s family, is suing her estate for nearly $500,000. He alleges that there was a verbal agreement that he would get 10 percent of the $4.9 million awarded to the estate, represented by Johnston’s niece, Sarah Dozier, by the city of Atlanta. Yeah, we can see quite clearly who Markel Hutchins’ god is — money.
Under the structure of the 2010 settlement, the estate got $3 million immediately and will get another $1.9 million in fiscal year 2012.
“I served as the family and Estate’s spokesperson, strategist, advisor and consultant with a clear understanding of how I would be compensated,” Hutchins said in a statement Thursday night. “My staff and I holistically managed the public and private efforts that made the significant settlement possible and yielded Mrs. Johnston’s heirs millions of dollars. I literally risked my own safety and security to advance the cause of the Estate of Kathryn Johnston and expended considerable resources of my own with no reimbursement or remuneration to date.” Source
Look, I don’t know where this will end up or how, but it sends the wrong message, again, about Markel Hutchins, that he’s all about money. Since he lost against John Lewis he became embroiled in the mess with the SCLC and the power struggle against Bernice King, the daughter of the group’s founder, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. So much so that he welded the doors of the Atlanta office shut. He was eventually smacked down by a court of law, but the stain he left with that mess is indelible. So now he’s suing the estate of this woman, who died in a hail of bullets during a raid on her home.
UPDATE#1 (04/25/13): I received the following press release from Markel Hutchins’ counsel about a confidential settlement with the estate of Kathryn Johnston. If the family has worked out the issues with Rev. Hutchins, then we should all accept their wishes as such and move forward.
Joint Statement from Rev. Markel Hutchins and
the family of the late Sarah Dozier, niece and administrator
of the Estate for the slain 92-year old Kathryn Johnston
The civil claims brought nearly two years ago by former Kathryn Johnston family spokesperson Rev. Markel Hutchins against her niece Sarah Dozier, administrator of the Johnston Estate, have been resolved in a confidential settlement.
According to Rev. Hutchins, “my lawsuit was NOT precipitated by any ill intent of Ms. Dozier or any other member of Ms. Johnston’s family.” He continued, “this dispute arose primarily because of actions by some of the attorneys representing Ms. Johnston’s family and the Estate in their lawsuit against the City of Atlanta. Those lawyers and their law firms caused Ms. Dozier, the Johnston family and me to be placed in this most unfortunate quandary. Our efforts to hold them accountable will proceed aggressively as they are not a part of this settlement.”
According to the Dozier family, “Rev. Hutchins served as our spokesperson with distinction and professionally managed various aspects of the Neal Street shooting with poise, diligence and much success; all parties involved understood he would be and deserved to be compensated for his work in the Kathryn Johnston case.”