Almost eight years after the shocking death of a woman found hanging from a Coronado mansion balcony, NBC 7 has learned the civil case has been dismissed.
Very few people knew about the settlement revealed Wednesday, including Adam Shacknai, the man found responsible for Rebecca Zahau's death.
Shacknai was outraged that the insurance company covering his legal exposure settled with the Zahau family attorney, Keith Greer, without his knowledge or involvement.
He told NBC 7 a week later that the settlement was for $600,000. He said he never saw the amount with his own eyes, but said that was the amount his lawyer told him.
He told members of the media outside court that his insurance company believed in his innocence but was "tired of throwing money" at his legal defense.
Shacknai called the judge incompetent for allowing the settlement to be reached without any comments from himself or his attorney.
He called Greer a "sleezeball."
“I took a lot of advice that I regret taking as far as not speaking out,” Shacknai said.
“It started out as just a family matter. You’re cleared by law enforcement,” he said of the investigation into the death of Rebecca Zahau. “Then all of a sudden a civil court comes up and you’re five miles behind and you’re behind the eight-ball because of not speaking out in the media beforehand.
He added that it was not easy to stay out of it.
The dismissal of the civil case does not negate the jury's finding that Adam Shacknai was responsible for Rebecca Zahau's death.
“That puts to rest the civil case. The jury verdict that came out finding [Adam Shacknai] guilty of murdering Rebecca Zahau in civil court still stands,” Greer said.
Greer went on to say that the family will next ask that the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office changes its determination in the case from suicide to homicide.
If the medical examiner will not change the opinion, the family will bring the matter into court and have a judge look into it.
“The family is not going to stop until Adam Shacknai is behind bars,” he said.
Last month, Judge Katherine Bacal issued a tentative ruling denying a request for a new trial.
Shacknai was found liable in the death of Zahau after a civil trial ended in April 2018.
Zahau, 32, was found bound, nude and hanging from a balcony at the Spreckels Mansion in Coronado in 2011. The home belonged to Zahau's boyfriend, Jonah Shacknai, Adam's brother.
Adam was the last person to see Zahau alive.
Zahau's death came just days after Jonah's boyfriend's son, 6-year-old Max Shacknai, took a deadly fall at the mansion, while Zahau was watching the boy.
In December 2018, the sheriff's department decided it would not change its initial findings on the case; Zahau's official cause of death would remain a suicide.
The Zahau family considered the decision not to reopen a criminal case "improper and biased."
Jurors in the wrongful death lawsuit voted 9-3 that Shacknai battered Zahau and that his actions caused her death. They determined Shacknai owed Zahau's mother, Pari Zahau, nearly $5.2 million in damages.