Lawsuit seeks $8M in murders by Ore. sergeant

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Relatives of two women killed by an off-duty Clackamas County, Ore., sheriff's sergeant are seeking $8 million in a lawsuit that alleges the county, the sheriff and two top aides knew the man was dangerously unstable.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/CAHAUD ) that the wrongful death lawsuit filed Thursday in Multnomah County alleges Sheriff Craig Roberts and the other defendants knew Sgt. Jeffrey Grahn presented a threat to his wife, Charlotte. The filing alleges officials knew Grahn was emotionally unsteady, angry, depressed and had substance-abuse problems.

On Feb. 12, 2010, a drunken Grahn confronted his wife and two of her friends at a Gresham lounge. He pulled his wife outside and fatally shot her in the head, then returned and fatally shot Victoria Schulmerich and Kathleen Hoffmeister. The sergeant then committed suicide.

The Schulmerich and Hoffmeister families each are seeking $3.5 million for loss of companionship and the women's pain and suffering. The families are asking almost $1 million more in lost earnings and expenses.

Sheriff's Sgt. James Rhodes said the sheriff's office can't comment.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com