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State Senator Paul Doyle: Your Voice

May 11, 2016

Capitol address
Legislative Office Building
Room 3900
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

E-mail me here

On the Web

Capitol: 860-240-0475
Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

Preventing Murderers From Collecting Their Victim's Inheritance

Senator Doyle introduces a bell in the senateThis year, I introduced a bill that will clarify state law to prevent a beneficiary who was found not guilty by reason of mental defect or disease from receiving an inheritance from his or her victim. Last week the bill, SB 213, received final approval from the General Assembly.

I introduced this bill after learning about the case of Heather Messenger. Heather was killed by her husband, David Messenger, who was later found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Despite the fact that he murdered his pregnant wife, David Messenger was still able to inherit from his wife's estate. If a murderer is found guilty of murdering a person, this murderer cannot inherit from his victim. However, current law permits a murderer who is found not guilty due to mental illness or defect to inherit from the estate of the murder victim. This bill amends current law so such murderers do not profit from their crimes.

This bill closes a loophole that allowed David Messenger to inherit over $400,000 from his deceased wife's estate. Murderers like David Messenger should not receive an inheritance from their victims. It is critical that Governor Malloy signs this piece of legislation to prevent future injustices like the one we saw in the case of the Messengers.


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My mailing address is:
Senator Paul Doyle, Legislative Office Building, Room 3900, Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Capitol telephone: 860-240-0475, or Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

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