Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Richard O'Neal killed his mother. He pleaded not guilty by reason on insanity and was committed to a West Virginia mental health facility.
The issue now being addressed is whether O'Neal may still inherit from his mother. The applicable slayer statute disqualifies someone who is "convicted of feloniously killing" the person from whom the person is attempting to inherit. But, O'Neal was not so convicted. Nonetheless, his mother's other two children claim that he should not profit from his wrongful act.
Special thanks to Matthew Heller for bringing this case to my attention. You may also read his discussion of this issue at Estate Claims "Insane" Killer Can't be Victim's Heir, On.Point Legal News, May 15, 2007.