Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Father Sues School District Over Son’s Murder

(CN) - A West Virginia school district's failure to address the numerous violent acts of one of its student led directly to the stabbing death of one his classmates, the dead teen's father claims in a lawsuit.

According to a complaint filed by Kevin White in the Kanawha County, W. Va., circuit court, the defendant Randolph County Board of Education had ample knowledge that non-party Thomas Vas posed a risk to other students.

White says prior to October 26, 2013, the day that Vas allegedly stabbed his son, Dustin Lee White to death at a high school football game, "Vas had engaged in actions and behaviors which exhibited anger, aggression, intimidation, and violence during school hours, and on Tygarts Valley High School property."

According to White these actions including Van's stabbing one student in the abdomen with a pencil, punching another in the groin, and making verbal threats that he would "'jump' other Tygarts Valley High School students after school."

Further, the complaint says, "On more than one, Thomas Vas was in possession of a knife, during school hours and on school property, and showed this knife to other Tygarts Valley High School students."

Vas also allegedly threatened to stab anyone who made him angry in front of teachers, coaches and other students, White says.

The complaint alleges that the principal of the Mill Creek, W. Va. school, Steven Wamsley offered to give one of his students a ride home from school after learning that Vas had threatened to beat him up after school, and on another occasion escorted Vas onto his bus to prevent another fight from occurring.

White says several concerned parents spoke to Wamsley about Vas's alleged behavior, and that the high school football coach actually suspended Vas for one game for "engaging in behavior of an angry, aggressive, and violent nature."

Despite this, White says the district took no other action. He says Vas stabbed his son outside the Tygart Valley High School stadium about 20 minutes before the football game scheduled for Friday night, October, 26, 2012.

White, 17, died of his injuries.

A trial of Vas on a capital murder charge has been delayed four times. It is now scheduled to begin in December.

White seeks unspecified damages and court costs.

He is represented by James Bordas II and Laura Pollard of Bordas & Bordas in Wheeling, W. Va., and Dorwin Wolfe of Elkins, W. Va.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.