An attorney for the pilot of the helicopter that crashed while filming a "Twilight Zone" war scene has filed a $300,000 damage claim against Los Angeles County.
Pilot Dorcey Wingo alleges that Deputy Dist. Atty. Lea Purwin D'Agostino made a slanderous statement about him at the time of the involuntary manslaughter trial of Wingo and four film-making associates. Attorney Eugene L. Trope claims that D'Agostino slandered Wingo when she told reporters that if she were on the jury, her "initial reaction (would be) to take these five people and go out and hang them."
D'Agostino's comment was not protected by legal privilege because it was made outside the courtroom, Trope contends. The defendants in the trial were found not guilty of causing the deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two child actors.
D'Agostino termed Wingo's claim "totally unfounded."
The claim, filed with Los Angeles County, is a preliminary step to the filing of a formal suit. The suit can be filed if the county does not respond to the claim in a specified time period or if the county rejects the claim.