Virginia Tech wrongful death lawsuit heads to trial

      The families of Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde filed wrongful death lawsuits against the Commonwealth instead of accepting a plea deal. (Photo: ABC7)

      CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) - A wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of two Virginia Tech students killed during a campus rampage nearly five years ago is headed to trial in Christiansburg.

      Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court at a trial where university officials will be asked to defend their actions April 16, 2007, when a student gunman killed 32 people, then himself.

      The lawsuit was brought by the parents of Julia K. Pryde and Erin N. Peterson, two Tech students killed in the deadliest shooting spree in modern U.S. history.

      Among the witnesses to be called will be President Charles Steger.

      Attorneys for the parents maintain officials waited too long before alerting students to the first shootings on the Blacksburg campus.

      Tech officials defend their actions.