TheLas Vegas Sun is reporting that accused, confessed and convicted murderer Daren Roy Mack cannot collect his $500,000 pension. Mr. Mack is currently incarcerated and serving a life sentence for murdering his estranged wife right after the two had come to an oral agreement in court about their divorce settlement. The district court in Las Vegas had ruled that Mr. Mack’s pension should be turned over to the Estate of his wife and he appealed to the Ninth Circuit.
The Las Vegas Sun:
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the claim of Darren Roy Mack, serving a life term for the murder of his estranged wife, Charla, and the wounding of District Judge Charles Weller in Reno in 2006.
The court ruled the $500,000 should be turned over to Randal Kuckenmeister, administrator of the estate of the deceased wife. Kuckenmeister said the money would go to pay claims and would also be held in trust for the couple’s daughter, Erica.
The two were going through a divorce and had agreed on the terms in court but never signed the final documents. After the oral agreement, Mack killed his wife and wounded the judge.
Over the objections of Mack, the state district court entered an order that the divorce agreement, although not signed, was final.
Seems like he was pulling a fast one by saying that since the settlement agreement was not signed, that the $500,000 was still his money. Usually, if you think about it, anything over $500 dollars has to be in writing to satisfy the statue of frauds – Contract Law 101. So Mr. Mack was a bit slick because he shot and killed his wife before the agreement was finalized and memorialized in writing. But the Ninth Circuit stopped him cold. They found some kind of exception to the rule and opined that the money should definitely go to Mack’s dead wife’s estate and for the benefit of their minor daughter, in trust, and to pay outstanding claims.