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Woman sues Hoover over son's conviction

HOOVER (AP) — A woman whose son was convicted of manslaughter in the stabbing death of a Hoover High School student has filed a $5 million claim against the city, saying her pleas to help her son prior to the slaying were ignored.

In the claim, Felicia Reynolds said she repeatedly informed school officials that her son, Ricky Reynolds, was being harassed and threatened by classmate Sean Joyner, 17.

Reynolds was sentenced to 20 years for the November 2002 fatal stabbing at the high school in suburban Birmingham. He is appealing the conviction.

Just before the stabbing, Joyner had returned to Hoover High from an alternative school for an incident unrelated to Reynolds. School officials knew Joyner had a violent reputation, the claim says.

Hoover school board President Bill Veitch said Thursday that the claim, filed Monday, is without merit.

"I find it bizarre that somebody expects the city to prevent their son from murdering someone between classes in the halls of Hoover High School," said Veitch, who is also the chief assistant district attorney in the office that prosecuted the case.

Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos called the claim frivolous. He said the city does not administer the schools, nor hire the educators who run the schools.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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