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Charter Goes to Civil Trial Over Customer Murdered by Installer

Charter Communications
(Image credit: Charter Communications)

The family of an 83-year-old Irving, Texas woman murdered by a Charter Communications installation rep, convicted of using his company van and uniform to gain entry into her residence, has sued the cable company.

The surprising part of the story: Charter hasn't settled the case. And the matter, and all the bad PR that comes with it, will now proceed to a civil trial, which starts Monday in Dallas.

Roy Holden Jr. has already pleaded guilty to robbing and fatally stabbing Betty Thomas in December 2019. He's now locked up in a Texas prison for the rest of his life.

The plaintiffs' suit details how, through a romantic relationship with a Charter colleague, Holden secured access to a company van the day after visiting Thomas for a legitimate service call, his aim being to gain the victim's trust so that he could rob her.

The suit blames Charter for not doing enough to protect Thomas from a killer, failing to perform a necessary level of employment background checks. It accuses Charter operatives of interfering with the murder investigation, failing to release damning internal video.

And it also says that the very cutting tool used by Holden to murder Thomas was provided by Charter.

For its part, Charter released this statement to Next TV Thursday: "Mrs. Thomas was the victim of a tragic crime, and we are grateful that justice has been served with the perpetrator in jail for life. Charter is committed to customer safety. The pre-employment criminal background check of the perpetrator showed no arrests, convictions or other crimes, nor did anything in his work performance suggest he was capable of the crime he committed."

An individual with knowledge of the proceedings conceded that it's unusual for such a case to proceed all the way to trial. But it's unclear as to what the family of the deceased is demanding. ■

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!