Court Bars Insane Killer From Inheriting Estate

     (CN) – The Washington Supreme Court barred Joshua Hoge from being a beneficiary of his mother’s estate after he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to killing her and his stepbrother.




     Pamela Kissinger’s estate argued at trial that Hoge was barred from benefiting from her estate under the slayer statute, which prohibits anyone who has participated in the “willful and unlawful” killing of another from benefiting from his actions.
     In 1999, Hoge was off his anti-psychotic medication. He suffered from Capgras syndrome, which led him to believe that Pamela and James Kissinger had been replaced by impostors.
     He also created a make-believe daughter, thought he could travel through time, and believed he could use magic to make toys larger.
     The trial court ruled that Hoge could not participate in the estate. Justice Chambers ruled that because the slayer statute is civil and the verdict was criminal, that a “not guilty by reason of insanity” plea would not necessarily bar such a slayer from benefiting from the estate.
     However, Chambers ruled that in this case, Hoge’s actions were willful.
     “Hoge acted with premeditated intent when he killed his mother,” Chambers ruled, “and Hoge himself stipulated in the criminal proceeding that his actions were intentional and premeditated.”

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