The families of three college-bound friends murdered in a Newark schoolyard in 2007 have reached a $5 million settlement in a lawsuit against the city and state.

Peter Dazeley, Getty Images

The settlement was announced Tuesday, several weeks into a civil trial.

The state attorney general's office says the Department of Education is responsible for $3 million and the Newark school district is liable for $2 million. The state has oversight of the Newark schools.

Neither defendant admitted liability.

The state is suing an insurance company that has refused to indemnify it in the lawsuit.

The families claimed the school district was negligent for leaving gates to the Mount Vernon School open at night when the schoolyard was a known gang hangout.

Six men and boys charged with the murders are serving prison terms.


(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)