Family Wins $1M After Pigs Ate Their Son’s Body | Courthouse News Service
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Family Wins $1M After Pigs Ate Their Son’s Body

SALEM, Ore. (CN) - Three men who fed a murdered man's body to pigs must pay the victim's family $1 million, the Marion County Circuit Court ruled.

The details of the grisly 2006 murder sound like a plot pulled straight from fiction. In April 2006, Christopher Lampkin was visiting someone at the Cedar Crest Apartments in Salem. During the visit, the 23-year-old got into an altercation that quickly turned deadly with other residents of the apartment.

"Leonardo Garcia Gonzalez, Victor Hernandez and others told Mr. Lampkin to get on his knees and say his prayers," Lampkin's mother, Denise Mullins, claimed in 2008 complaint. "Mr. Lampkin was then shot 'execution style' in the head and taken to the bathtub where Leonardo and Victor Hernandez began to cut off his head and limbs of his body with kitchen knives."

The men stuffed the remains in a duffel bag and called a friend, Joseph Norman Schmidt, whose father owned a pig farm in rural Yamhill County.

Schmidt put the duffel bag into a feed barrel for the pigs, an animal that is famous for its omnivorous palate.

Police recovered parts of Lampkin's remains from the feed barrel in 2007, and Schmidt cooperated with the investigation in exchange for immunity.

Mullins reportedly identified her son's remains by the watch that was still strapped to the corpse's arm, and DNA tests later confirmed the identification.

Her lawsuit states that Schmidt and his father, Joseph Francis Schmidt, "knew or should have known criminal activity such as mutilation of a corpse and drug use occurred on their property."

Ultimately, a judge dismissed the charges against the farm owner, the apartment complex and that complex's owner. It also appears that Mullins misidentified Gonzalez' co-conspirator, whose name appears as Victor Tovar Gonzalez in the latest court filing.

The Gonzalezes, who are cousins, are each serving time in Oregon penitentiaries.

Marion County Circuit Court Judge Dale Penn awarded more than $1 million to Lampkin's estate earlier this month.

Each defendant will pay a third of the judgment.

Gonzalez said he attacked Lampkin because he became paranoid that Lampkin was there to rob him, according to Associated Press coverage of Gonzalez's trial.

"I become convinced he was scoping out the apartment to rip me off," Gonzalez reportedly told the judge. "I was really afraid someone was going to rob and shoot me."

Mullins is represented by Brian Lathen of Swanson, Lathen, Alexander, McCann & Prestwich.

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