Dan Newlin Advocates for Victim’s Family
Dan Newlin of Newlin Law, and an Orange County jury sent a strong message to would-be murders that not only would they be held criminally liable for their actions, but also would be subject to civil judgments against them. On October 4, 2007, now slain Orlando police officer Alfred Gordon was gunned down and killed by Hugo Terry and Davin Smith in a robbery attempt following Gordon’s withdrawal of cash from a Bank of America ATM. The two suspects were arrested two days later and were subsequently charged and convicted of first degree murder. Both Terry and Smith are serving life sentences without chance for parole. Officer Gordon was survived by his wife, Beverly and three children. Orlando based Attorney Dan Newlin was contacted by Beverly Gordon shortly after the murder and asked to serve as the advocate for the estate and the surviving family members.
In 2010, with rumor that the suspects were potentially seeking to profit from their story, Dan Newlin encouraged the family to allow him to spearhead a civil lawsuit again them in an effort to secure a verdict against them and prevent profiteering from the murder of Officer Gordon.
“After discussions with the Gordon family, we agreed that there was more we could do to penalize the two thugs who stole Officer Gordon’s life,” Newlin said.
Along with Miami based attorney John Leighton, Newlin presented Officer Gordon’s case to a jury of six Orange County residents over two days of trial. The trial included very emotional testimony from Gordon’s surviving children, who when questioned by Newlin on the stand, could not contain their grief when speaking of losing their father.
Newlin and Leighton asked the jury throughout the trial to send a message to criminals in the Central Florida community that you cannot profit from committing a violent crime. The jury agreed with the attorneys and awarded the estate and survivors a total of $24 million.
“I don’t know if any amount will make up for the death, but this says you were liable for it civilly,” said Beverly Gordon, the officer’s ex-wife who had plans to remarry Gordon around the time of the murder. Gordon’s surviving children were also content to have some closure and reassurance that the suspects would never profit from their father’s death.
“If they get a book deal, if they win the lottery, whatever it is, we’re going to be there with a judgment,” said attorney John Leighton. Newlin continued, “This trial was about providing closure not only to a grieving family but to the Orlando Police Department and the Central Florida community. Al Gordon served his country and Orlando with pride and was a devoted parent and friend. Today I was humbled to be a part of honoring his memory and helping his family move on with their lives knowing that justice has been done.”
“At the end of the day, it’s all a part of the process and we can start moving on,” said Alexandria Gordon, the officer’s daughter. Read More.