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October 2, 2014

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Family of slain girl to receive $350,000 settlement

Alison Shaw, 17, was stabbed 103 times at a park near Galena High School on March 27, 1997.

A classmate, Conor Harris, 18, pleaded guilty to the brutal killing and was sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms without parole.

Police said Harris killed the young woman, then returned to school to take an exam in a government class.

Cal Dunlap, a lawyer for the Shaw family, on Thursday said the settlement money is being paid by the homeowner's insurance of Dale and Judy Harris, Conor's parents.

Dunlap said parental responsibility was an issue in the case because the parents were aware of previous violent tendencies by their son and other problems but did nothing to try to stop it.

A similar negligent case against the Washoe County School District is pending.

"The result was by not paying attention to or taking seriously the threats of violence, this thing happened that might otherwise have been prevented," Dunlap said.

The victim's mother, Linda Shaw, said the settlement is a strong statement that parents need to pay attention to their children.

"I feel real strongly that all those people need to be responsible for the things they neglected," she said. "Parents, when they see violence and violent-style writing by their children, need to be prepared to pay for it.

"They need to be prepared to suffer the consequences when they injure some kind, gentle, unsuspecting person who should have been warned," she said.

During a sentencing hearing, Washoe District Judge Brent Adams said Conor Harris openly expressed rage and hate in his journals, poems, and essays.

"I don't think I've ever read anything as graphic as the defendant's detailed accounts of killing and torture," the judge said.

Harris, a popular student and football team standout, never said why he killed Shaw.

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