The parents of a victim of the Columbine High School (search) massacre can sue a former sheriff's deputy who falsely told them their son was killed by an officer, a judge said.

Former Arapahoe County Deputy James Taylor asked state District Judge James Zimmerman to dismiss the suit on grounds he had governmental immunity. Zimmerman refused, saying Taylor had acted as a friend and not a county employee.

The ruling was handed down Tuesday. No trial date has been set.

Sue Petrone and Brian Rohrbough, parents of Daniel Rohrbough (search), are suing Taylor on claims of outrageous conduct and negligence. Zimmerman dismissed their defamation claim.

Daniel Rohrbough was among 12 students and a teacher who were shot and killed by two students in 1999.

Taylor has acknowledged he told Petrone and Rohrbough a Denver SWAT team (search) member shot and killed their son. At a June hearing, Taylor testified he had no explanation for what he told the parents.

Taylor's attorney did not return an after-hours telephone message Friday.