March 22, 2013
Virginia Slayer Statute Includes Persons With Mental Illness
Michael Osman has had mental health issues since childhood. One of these issues includes paranoid schizophrenia. He took medication to help his paranoid schizophrenia. In December of 2009, Michael strangled his 73-year-old mother, Carolyn Osman. He was not on his medication at the time.
In Osman v. Osman, the Virginia supreme court ruled a man who killed his mother due to mental illness cannot collect the inheritance she left him. A judge ruled that due to Osman's mental impairment he was not responsible for his actions. The court determined Michael belonged in a state mental hospital. The law in Virginia defines "'slayers'" "as murderers, voluntary manslaughter convicts and people who evidence shows have committed one of those offenses -- cannot collect an inheritance from their victim." The law does not mention or provide any exceptions for people who suffer from mental illness and are found by a court not to be responsible for their actions.
See U.S. News Va. Court Rules Against Inheritance, UPI.com, Mar. 18, 2013.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this to my attention.
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