Friday, May 8, 2009

Slayer Statute Kills Any Chance of Taking the Estate of Murdered Mom

Joshua Hoge, who fatally stabbed his mother and half-brother 10 years ago in Renton, won't be able to collect thousands of dollars from a lawsuit in the deaths even though he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that someone who willfully kills is barred from profiting from it — even if he isn't convicted of the crime. They ruled that this killing was premeditated, willful and deliberate.

The ruling settles years of legal argument over a technicality in the state's so-called "slayer statute." But it also leaves some room for future debate.

Hoge had not been taking the anti-psychotic medication prescribed to treat his years-long mental illnesses, which included schizophrenia and Capgras syndrome, which led him to believe his family had been replaced by impostors.

Earlier reporting by the Seattle Times says that Pamela Kissinger's estate sued King County for failure to Hoge his medication and was partially responsible for the murder. The ruling will finally allow the settlement money to go to Hoge's brother who also suffers from debilitating mental illness that requires constant care.

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