ATLANTA — The families of two up and coming rappers who were killed inside an Atlanta nightclub in 2017 finally have closure.
Ewell “Wells” Ynoa, 21, and Giovanni “Geo” Diaz, 22, were on stage at the Masquerade at Underground Atlanta just before the headliner was set to come out when they were shot and killed in November 2017.
Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes, who has been following this case since it first began, has learned a jury has now awarded the families of both men $80 million each because the club did not have enough security.
The shooter, Jonathan Bautista, is now serving a 40-year prison sentence.
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The victims’ families did not stop fighting once they had a conviction.
They said all along that the club did not have proper security and did not check club-goers for weapons at the door, so they sued the club and Sony Music Holdings.
“They’re the ones that hosted the event, it was their artist,” said Frailan Ynoa, “also providing and hiring of security.”
In a civil lawsuit against Sony, a jury awarded the families a total of $160 million for the wrongful deaths of Ynoa and Diaz.
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“It just shows that some people don’t really care,” Frailan Ynoa said.
For the last five years, the families have traveled to Atlanta from New York and Florida for candlelight vigils and court hearings. They are relieved that part is over and hope other nightclubs have learned from their tragedies.
“Every club where there’s gonna be a big event with hundreds of people or any amount of people, there should be metal detectors and high security systems that will show if someone brings in a weapon, knife or a gun because you know there’s gonna be people drinking and having fun and liquor can lead to a lot of things happening,” Frailan Ynoa said.
Fernandes reached out to Sony Music Holdings to get a comment on not showing up in court and the $160 million settlement, but has not heard back.
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