Lynchburg, VA - The family of an Amherst County woman killed in her home has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the man standing trial for her murder.
The Amherst County Sheriff's Office charged Cordell Carter with the second degree murder of Jennifer Johnson in January.
He is currently awaiting trial for those charges.
Months before the start of his trial, Cordell Carter will now have to stand before another judge. This time here in Lynchburg.
"We made the decision to file this lawsuit to ensure the children's best interests are taken care of" said Jennifer Johnson’s estate administrator John Wolhfert
In May, Wolhfert filed a lawsuit on Johnson's behalf, against Cordell Carter and Carter's daughter Courtney. "Not only have they lost a caregiver, someone that can provide them with their basic necessities, but they've also lost the compassion and the love" said Wolhfert.
The lawsuit lists Johnson's 14-year-old son and 7-year-old son, who Carter fathered, as the beneficiaries.
Johnson's estate is suing Carter for $350,000 in punitive damages and $3 million in compensatory damages.
"One boy, the older boy, is struggling from a day to day perspective. The other child is having the same struggles not just because he lost his mother but because he has limited interaction with his father" said Wolhfert
According to court documents Johnson's estate accuses Carter of fraudulently transferring the deed to three of his properties to his daughter Courtney a couple days after Johnson was found dead.
"We are asking the court to set aside those conveyances, because we believe that that property should still be titled under Mr. Carter's name" said Chad Mooney, Attorney for Jennifer Johnson Estate
Wolhfert alleges Carter did so "with the apparent intent to hinder, delay or defraud" the beneficiaries.
Mooney says they are asking the court to allow them to go after Carter's properties if they are successful in their suit to satisfy any judgment that is awarded to them.
The family decided to file the lawsuit now because there is still another property that is under Carter's name. They family says they fear he will also try to transfer that property out of his name.
Mooney says a court date for the civil suit will most likely be set after the criminal proceedings.