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Family of student murdered at home sues apartment complex for not helping her relocate

Police previously responded to the complex after the suspect showed up to her door with a gun.

AUSTIN, Texas — The family of a Huston-Tillotson University student killed in a shooting at her apartment is now suing her complex's management, claiming that they failed to help her move when the suspect came to her unit and threatened her.

Natalia Monet Cox, 21, was found dead on March 31 at the Colonial Grand at Canyon Pointe apartments. Police had previously responded to her unit on March 24 when she reported that a man she had recently dated showed up with a gun and threatened to shoot her door open.

According to the lawsuit, after the incident, Cox and her roommate sent written notice to the assistant property manager of the complex about what had happened that night and shared her police report information. The next day, both went to the property's office to again notify them of the incident. There, they were informed they would have to pay an application fee, a new security deposit, a new administrative fee and two months' rent for failure to provide 60 days' notice of their move-out date. The lawsuit claims that since they were unable to afford the costs of moving out, they were forced to remain in their unit.   

"Natalia was shot and killed inside of her apartment, despite multiple requests that she and her roommate be allowed to safely relocate without having to bear the exorbitant and unreasonable costs required by the defendant, Mid-American Apartment Communities Inc.," the suit states. "Defendant Mid-America refused to allow Natalia and [her roommate] to relocate without imposing further penalties for terminating their lease agreement early, even in the face of threatened serious bodily injury or death that took place at the same apartment unit."

The suit lists Mid-America and the assistant property manager as defendants. The plaintiffs are seeking survivorship and loss of companionship damages. They are also seeking a trial by jury.

Suspect Henry Keith Watson Jr., 24, was arrested on March 31 and charged with first-degree murder. As of Oct. 12, he remains in the Travis County Jail.


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