Son Sues Fireman Who Killed His Mom

     SACRAMENTO (CN) – The son of the woman a Cal Fire battalion chief stabbed to death filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against her killer, Orville Fleming, and the state agencies he worked for.
     Fleming, 57, was convicted of second-degree murder in June for the death of his fiancée, 26-year-old Sarah Douglas. He stabbed her 14 times on or before May 1, 2014, then hid out for 16 days.
     Mikah Allen Mitrick, Douglas’ son from a former relationship, sued Fleming, the Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, Cal Fire, the State Board of Forestry & Fire, and the state of California, in Superior Court.
     Fleming taught at the state forestry and fire protection training academy in Ione, 40 miles southeast of Sacramento.
     The lawsuit does not elucidate what preceded the murder, or the act itself, other than to say that Fleming used his position as battalion chief to lure Douglas into a physical relationship and then “hit, stabbed, choked, and harmed” her, which caused her death.
     Douglas’ body, riddled with stab wounds, was found by her sister on May 1, 2014, in the home Douglas shared with Fleming, prompting a statewide manhunt.
     Fleming, a career firefighter, hid for 16 days in underbrush in a Sacramento suburb not far from the scene of the crime before he was captured.
     Fleming had left his marriage of 30 years to be with Douglas, whom he met on the now-defunct online escort site MyRedbook. Prosecutors said that jealousy and distrust defined their relationship.
     On the witness stand, Fleming said that he’d agreed to divorce his wife and marry Douglas if she would quit drinking and stop using drugs.
     Fleming testified that he and Douglas had a volatile relationship and that a heated argument precipitated the killing, the Sacramento Bee reported during the trial.
     Fleming testified that he was in a “zombie” state when he went to the kitchen, got the knife and went back to the bedroom to stab Douglas.
     Defense attorney Peter Kmeto sought a manslaughter conviction, saying Fleming killed Douglas in the heat of passion. Kmeto said Fleming suffered “dissociative amnesia” during the attack and could not remember all of the events from that night. He claimed that Fleming never planned to kill Douglas.
     After Douglas’ death, a scandal unraveled at the Ione academy , where Fleming worked.
     Fleming’s estranged wife alerted officials to a possible sex tape filmed at the academy and the California Highway Patrol investigated. Although the CHP did not find a sex tape, it found plenty of wrongdoing.
     Of the 16 employees investigated, two state firefighters were fired, one resigned and 13 were suspended or demoted for acts including solicitation of prostitutes, drinking on the job, misuse of state property and dishonesty.
     Fleming is to be sentenced on July 31. He faces 15 years to life in state prison.
     Mitrick seeks compensatory damages from all the defendants and punitive damages against Fleming.
     He is represented by Robert Piering, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
     Cal Fire could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

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