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Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against Thanksgiving Day Killer's Parents

WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – The parents of Paul Merhige, the man who went on a Thanksgiving Day shooting rampage in 2009 killing a six-year-old girl and three family members, cannot be held accountable for his actions.

That's according to Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Meenu Sasser who threw out a lawsuit filed against Michael and Carole Merhige. Judge Sasser had previously thrown out a similar suit filed by Patrick Knight whose pregnant wife, who was also the Merhige's daughter, died in the shooting, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Merhige has pled guilty in the deaths of his 73-year-old aunt Raymonde Joseph, his cousin's 6-year-old daughter Makayla Sitton, and his 33-year-old twin sisters Carla Merhige and Lisa Knight. In exchange for his plea which spared him the death penalty he was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences.

Makayla Sittons parents, Muriel and Jim Sitton, and Patrick Knight filed suits against Merhige's parents claiming they knew of their son's "dangerous propensities" and failed to protect their relatives.

In his ruling, Sasser said no Florida courts have held parents responsible for the actions of their adult children.

The Sittons have vowed to appeal Sasser's ruling.

The Palm Beach Post contributed to this story.

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