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The state Court of Appeals is reviewing briefs filed by attorneys for the families of two of the people killed by Michael Charles Hayes in a roadside shoot-out nearly two years ago.

The briefs ask the court to allow the attorneys to proceed with the lawsuits against the sheriff's departments of Forsyth and Davidson counties.The attorneys are seeking a review of Superior Court rulings on the pending lawsuits filed by the families of Ronald Lee Hull, 32, and Crystal Suzanne Cantrell, 32.

The families filed suits in Forsyth Superior Court against the two sheriffs, their departments and specific officers. The filing had come exactly one year after Hayes, a 25-year-old Davidson County man, went on a shooting spree on Old Salisbury Road that left four people dead and five more injured. The shooting spree ended when deputies shot and severely injured Hayes.

Hayes was acquitted of murder and assault charges in April 1989 when a jury in Forsyth Superior Court determined that he was insane. He is committed to Dorothea Dix Hospital, and a hearing on his commitment is expected in June.

A judge dismissed key sections of the two lawsuits Dec. 20, saying the families could not sue the departments for gross negligence for failing to commit Hayes before the shootings or for failing to stop him sooner after the shootings started.


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