Tennessee Woman Awarded Over $20 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Federal Jury Finds Shooter 100% Responsible for Harris County Homicide

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A Tennessee woman has been awarded more than $20 million in a wrongful death case by a federal court jury in Columbus. The civil case was filed in relation to the 2019 homicide of George Hale Bickerstaff III in Harris County. Michael Neely shot and killed Bickerstaff outside his home, but he was never criminally charged, citing self-defense. Bickerstaff’s daughter, Necole Vazquez-Klecha, filed a wrongful death suit against Neely and Bickerstaff’s younger sister, Elizabeth Ann Bickerstaff. The jury found Neely, Elizabeth Ann Bickerstaff’s common law husband, 100 percent responsible for George Bickerstaff’s death. Elizabeth Bickerstaff was previously dismissed from the lawsuit. Columbus attorney Teresa Tomlinson represented George Bickerstaff’s daughter and argued that his remaining years were worth nearly $7 million. The jury awarded almost triple that amount, stating that Bickerstaff was not responsible for the event. Michael Neely’s attorney, Nathan Lee, has not yet responded to requests for comment.