Illinois Mother Wins $13 Million Over Son's Prison Killing

A judge has ordered an Illinois prison inmate who killed his cellmate — after allegedly warning guards he would harm the man — to pay $13 million to the dead inmate's estate and his mother.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron Cudmore issued the default judgment in favor of Sherree Daczewitz in her 2006 lawsuit against Corey Fox and prison officials over the 2004 strangling of her son, Joshua Daczewitz.

Sherree Daczewitz alleged that the state Department of Corrections and officials at the maximum-security Menard Correctional Center should have known the risk Fox posed to her son but recklessly ignored the threat.

The judgment was issued in October. There was no indication how much of it, if any, Fox will be able to pay. Sherree Daczewitz's attorneys did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Cudmore ordered Fox brought to Springfield for a deposition in the lawsuit, but Fox refused to testify.

The corrections department reached a private settlement in the lawsuit, spokesman Derek Schnapp said Monday. He directed additional questions to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office, which represented the department. Madigan spokesman Scott Mulford did not immediately have any comment.

Fox was serving a life sentence for a stabbing death. According to the lawsuit, he wanted his own cell but was paired with Daczewitz, 22, who was serving a seven-year sentence for arson and robbery.

In the days before the killing, the lawsuit claimed, Fox told various correctional officers he would harm anyone placed with him in his cell.

Fox pleaded guilty to murdering Daczewitz and was sentenced to another life term.