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Reduction sought in prison bus slaying damages

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office is asking a Baltimore judge to cancel or reduce an $18.5 million damages award stemming from the murder of an inmate aboard a state prison bus.

The documents were filed Tuesday in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

One motion asks the court to strike the jury’s finding that three correctional officers were negligent and one was grossly negligent for failing to prevent inmate Kevin Johns from killing inmate Philip Parker Jr.

The state contends the officers are immune from liability because they’re public officials.

Another motion seeks to reduce the award for negligence to $200,000.

A third motion seeks to reduce the award for gross negligence to $645,000.

The state says that’s the most it is required to pay by law in such cases.