SAVANNAH, Ga. (CN) – A man sexually assaulted a co-worker, and when a second co-worker tried to pull him off, he shot the man to death, then stripped and ran naked into the woods, according to news reports and the woman’s court complaint.
J.R. sued Christopher Lema, OA Logistics Services, a subsidiary of E&E Co., Harbor America East and Staffchex, in Chatham County State Court.
J.R. claims that Lema sexually assaulted her in February and when a co-worker, Nickifor Zephyrine, tried to intervene, Lema pulled a gun and shot him to death.
The Savannah Morning News reported that Lema, 23, shot Zephyrine, a 28-year-old forklift driver, at a warehouse in Pooler, 15 miles west of Savannah.
Workers told the newspaper that after the shooting, they saw Lema strip off his clothes, drop his gun and run naked across the parking lot toward a nearby woods. Police caught him within minutes.
Lema is serving time in Chatham County Jail, according to the complaint.
J.R. claims OA Logistics, which owned the warehouse where she was assaulted, and Harbor America East, which operated it, failed to maintain a safe work environment by hiring and retaining Lema.
She claims Staffchex improperly checked Lema’s background. According to the complaint, Lema had a criminal record which included convictions for cocaine, false statements to the government and obstruction of a police officer, and had been released from jail in June 2011.
J.R. seeks punitive damages for negligence and assault.
She is represented by Brent Savage with Savage, Turner, Pinckney & Madison.