TACOMA, Wash. -- Nearly 18 years after a man was convicted of murder, he filed a lawsuit against the murdered victim’s family.
Larry Shandola,61, was sentenced to 31 years for hunting down Bob Henry outside and shooting him in the face with a gun. Shandola was considered a friend by the victim’s family.
The lawsuit claims they violated Shandola’s privacy and intentionally inflicted emotional distress by telling the Department of Corrections he shouldn’t be allowed to serve his sentence in Canada, where he was born.
Paula Henry, the victim’s wife, is terrified Shandola knows where she lives and may seek revenge.
“You move on with your life and then out of nowhere, a knock on my door. You open your door and you’re like what the heck?” she said.
Henry and four others, including her victim’s advocate, are named in the lawsuit.
“It’s a simple case of using the courts as harassment,” said John Ladenburg Sr., Henry’s lawyer.
The fear is other criminals may follow Shandola’s lead.
“When someone figures out a hole in the law or a loophole, everybody starts using it unless you close the loophole,” said Ladenburg.
According to Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, the loophole will only clog the court system and cost taxpayers money. Henry is pushing for a law that requires convicts to get court permission before taking action against a victim or his or her family.
“What this law will do as currently proposed is to stop this kind of frivolous harassing lawsuit that has no purpose other than to further victimize the victims and their families,” said Lindquist.
Paula Henry is dedicated to defend others in her situation.
“There’s hope we’re going to make a change. I’m going to tell you that right now, we’re going to make a change,” she said.
While it’s too late for the legislature to consider the measure this year, Ladenburg says it could still be added to another bill.
A motion to dismiss the lawsuit will be heard Friday, where Paula Henry will also ask for $10,000 in damages and a permanent restraining order.
Shandola is acting as his own attorney and will appear in court by speaker phone from Stafford Creek Corrections Center, a medium security prison in Aberdeen.