The parents of a 32-year-old Hillsborough man failed to properly control their mentally troubled parolee son, who later shot and killed his longtime friend on their property in 2010, according to a lawsuit.
Steven and Kathie Kleiman created a dangerous situation when they didn't supervise and control Bradley Kleiman at their DeSabla Road home, says the complaint filed in San Mateo County Superior Court. He shot and killed 30-year-old Christopher Calvache June 15, 2010 in the family pool house and told police he'd fired in self-defense.
Bradley Kleiman, whom the suit accuses of negligence in the killing, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced in March to seven years in prison. He told police he and Calvche had been friends since high school but had argued that night and Calvache pulled a gun on him. At some point, Kleiman ended up with the gun. Calvache was shot twice in the head and once in the butt.
Attorney Chuck Smith, who'll likely defend the family against the suit, said it's a malicious claim that targets the family because they have "a nice house in Hillsborough."
"What, are the parents supposed to be there baby-sitting their son's guests?" he asked. "That's ridiculous."
He went on to say that Calvache was shot with a pistol he'd brought with him to the Kleiman home.
Attorney Michael Mandel, who filed the suit June 14 on behalf of Patricia Calvache, the victim's mother, didn't
The lawsuit says Kleiman was on parole at the time of the killing, had misdemeanor and felony criminal convictions and was taking "prescribed psychotropic medications." Yet his parents, with whom he lived, failed to "exercise proper supervision and control of their son's actions," the complaint claims.
The lawsuit also calls the shooting an "accident." Smith said it's a cynical attempt to characterize the shooting in a way that would be covered by the Kleiman family's homeowner's insurance.
Prosecutors agreed to a plea bargain with Kleiman in January because there were questions about whether Hillsborough police violated his rights. While investigators questioned him after the killing, he asked for a lawyer, authorities said. Police, however, continued their interrogation. Kleiman's statement was a key piece of the prosecution case.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.