Family of murder victim suing Suffolk for $50M

Phyllis Coleman holds an undated photo of her

Phyllis Coleman holds an undated photo of her daughter Santia Williams on July 16, 2012, in her lawyer's office in Hempstead. (Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

The family of a Bay Shore woman killed by her ex-boyfriend in a murder-suicide last year has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in federal court, alleging that authorities failed to protect her even after she received a temporary restraining order against him.

Santia Williams, 26, was shot by Jason Jenkins, 27, the father of one of her two children, on July 12, 2011, in the Bay Shore home they once shared. Jenkins then shot and killed himself, police said.

The couple had argued over when Jenkins could see his infant daughter.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, alleged that Williams called police on "numerous" occasions between 2010 and her death to get them to stop Jenkins from stalking her, bullying her and beating her.

"Santia Williams was denied adequate, proper and timely police protection, was forced to endure pain and suffering, was forced to suffer summary punishment, was ignored as to real and immediate complaints as to her health and safety," the lawsuit said.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the police department declined to talk about the lawsuit, which seeks $20 million in damages and an additional $30 million in punitive damages.

The sheriff's department, the lawsuit alleged, failed to immediately serve the temporary restraining order, issued on June 28, 2011, on Jenkins, allowing the abuse to continue. Sheriff Vincent DeMarco's office did not return a call seeking comment.

Sometime last year, according to the lawsuit, Jenkins used his car to knock Williams to the ground in Bellport and she called police, but officers did not arrest Jenkins.

"In March 2011, Santia was asleep in the same sleeping area as Jenkins and at that time he rolled her up in a blanket and beat her up with a frying pan," the lawsuit said.

Again, Williams, then pregnant with Jenkins' child, called police but officers did not arrest him, the lawsuit said.

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