Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Probate News

ADRIAN, Mich. -Daily Telegram. Adrian, Michigan

A 16-year-old girl admitted to poisoning her grandmother at their Addison-area home two years ago. She pleaded guilty to killing her 53-year-old grandmother by slipping her morphine pills. The woman had been the girl's guardian since the girl was 8 months old.

Though only thirteen at the time of the murder, Kristina Adkins was given life and sentenced as an adult.

Why Kristina would kill the woman who raised her since she was an infant remains unclear. She never revealed her motive.

“Things are not like they seem to be, that’s all I can say,” said Doris Dupuie, Virginia Bentley’s mother and Kristina’s great-grandmother.

Defense attorney Michael McFarland of Adrian said Kristina never gave a direct explanation for wanting to kill her grandmother.

“I think it was cumulative of her entire life experience,” McFarland said.

At the sentence hearing, McFarland told the court that Kristina had a troubled childhood that included mental health problems and drug abuse.

Lenawee County Prosecutor Jonathan Poer asked the court for an adult sentence.

“While she may be a teenager, the result of her conduct is undeniable and permanent,” Poer said. Society would not be protected if Kristina was placed in a juvenile facility, he said, adding that she told a probation officer she is not sure if she might kill again. Poer said that Kristina saw her grandmother in pain for several days from the morphine before increasing the dose to a fatal level.

Noe agreed the severity of the crime and the risk to society are too great for a sentence to a juvenile facility.


Norwalk Connecticut Stamford Advocate

NORWALK - Although a jury found Mary Ann Langley guilty of killing her husband by throwing gasoline on him and lighting him on fire, she could still inherit his $1.2 million estate, family members and attorneys said.

This turn of events was made possible by a jury of eight women and four men who did not convict Langley of murder two weeks ago after a seven-day trial at state Superior Court in Stamford. The jury was unable to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Mary Ann Langley intended to kill her husband by throwing the gasoline on him, and instead found her guilty of intentional first-degree manslaughter in the December 2006 death of her husband, James, 55.

State statutes prohibit only murderers from inheriting from their victims, not individuals convicted of manslaughter.

The state's slayer statute says that when a defendant has been convicted of killing another person, such as in the case of Langley's manslaughter conviction, her rights to inherit shall be determined under common law.

According to Willie Langley and his probate attorney, Alan Williams, the will could be contested in Probate Court, or a wrongful death suit could be filed in Superior Court. Langley said last week that his brother's estate, which includes two homes on Woodward Avenue, a contractor's lot and other contracting equipment, is worth about $1.25 million.

"Under the statutory scheme in place in Connecticut, it is clear that Mrs. Langley can inherit," Seeger wrote in an e-mail from Chicago on Friday.

"Under the common law analysis that follows the initial determination, there is an issue of a beneficiary's motives that needs to be determined," Seeger said. "Generally, if the motive of an individual is to gain benefits by causing the death, the person can be disinherited. It is our position that no such evidence exists in this case."

Stephen Keogh, a probate attorney practicing in Norwalk for 23 years, said, "Connecticut has a black-and-white rule on murder: that someone convicted of first- or second-degree murder cannot inherit from someone they murdered. All other cases of somebody who might inherit from someone they killed are left to common law, which is a big body of law that allows the case to be resolved on a case-by-case basis."
- - -

Seems to me that if you throw gas on a person and purposely light them on fire, you've made your're intentions pretty clear. Just sayin.

No comments: