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Mom of 4 Murdered at Regal Forest Apartments in Clayton County

Could the shooting death of Tonya White, 35, at the Regal Forest apartments be the result of negligent security by the property's owners?

Police officers responded to the Regal Forest apartments in Clayton County and found 35-year-old Tonya White, a mother of four, shot dead in the parking lot.

The assailant was still in the car when police arrived and gave himself up after a standoff. He is now under arrest and is a suspect in White’s murder.

The family held a balloon release and a vigil in remembrance of White, whose children range in age from 4 to 16. At the vigil, the victim’s brother said, “We just want to make sure that everybody out here in this neighborhood knows that we love her and we care about her.”

A GoFundMe has been started to help the family pay for funeral expenses.

Georgia Negligent Security Law

If it is reasonable to anticipate crime at a property, Georgia state law requires apartment owners to implement reasonable security measures. Landlords may be compelled to implement reasonable security measures, such as conspicuous surveillance cameras, on-site security, perimeter fencing with access-controlled gates, and even a guard station at the entrance gate, to address crime in the community.

The good news is that it has been shown that in apartment complexes where there are visible security cameras, working access-controlled gates, secure perimeter fencing, sufficient lighting, and, when the presence of criminal activity calls for it, private security guards can reduce violent crime.

A History of Negligence at the Regal Forest Apartments

Residents have left online reviews with a list of unresolved problems at the complex. One resident starts their review with “I wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone.”

Another resident complains that the apartment came “partially painted, leaks in the ceiling,” and with rodents in the walls. “I’ve had so many issues unaddressed,” the resident continued.

Only Crime Victims or Their Relatives Can Demand Justice

Property owners in Georgia are required by law to take reasonable precautions against predictable crimes. Landlords often end up promoting a cycle of violence if they fail to address criminal activity that is taking place in the community.

While law enforcement can apprehend and prosecute criminals, there isn't much police can do to force property owners to take steps to prevent crime on their property – nor can they make amends to the victims' families.

Only those who have survived a violent crime or the victim's family are eligible to sue landlords and apartment managers in civil court. Even though it will never fully compensate for the anguish caused by violent crime, a civil judgment can help with expenditures like medical bills and lost wages as well as serve as a starting point for recovery.

It is important to know that when crime victims are awarded significant financial judgments, property owners and managers often feel pressured to adopt precautions necessary to deter future violent crimes on their property.

Together we can Make Atlanta Safe, one community at a time.

We believe that when violent crime occurs on a property, the owners and management should be held accountable if they were aware of the risk, if they failed to warn patrons and guests, and if they did not implement reasonable security measures. The law is on our side. But only the survivors of violent crimes and the families of victims can stand up and demand justice. We can help.

It is up to survivors and their families to demand justice.

Only the survivors of violent crimes or the families of victims can use the civil court system to hold property owners and managers accountable when they fail to take reasonable precautions to protect tenants and guests from known threats. By holding them accountable, we can motivate property owners to make meaningful changes to prevent violent crime from happening to others. In that way, together, we can help Make Atlanta Safe.

We can't help unless you contact us. We're at 404.998.5258.

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