DETROIT (CN) – A woman who killed her husband demands survivor benefits through his retirement plan. Fayette Nale claims that Ford Motor Co. unfairly denied her claim because of her conviction for “voluntary manslaughter under heat of passion.”
In her federal complaint, Nale claims that under Michigan law, her conviction “is not considered an intentional causing of death such that she should be denied survivor benefits.”
Nale says she accidentally stabbed her husband Michael in self-defense during a struggle in 2007, after enduring months of physical and sexual abuse.
According to local news reports, Nale’s trial attorney Gail Pamukov claimed that the fatal wounds were partially self-inflicted, and that Michael Nale had been drunk during the fight. Michael Nale had been convicted of domestic violence during the final 7 months of their 34-year marriage, officials said at the time.
Fayette Nale was charged with second-degree homicide and voluntary manslaughter, but was acquitted of homicide, according to her complaint. She is serving a 38-month prison sentence.
Fayette Nale has lupus and is wheelchair-bound due to injuries from a car accident, according to news reports.
Officials say that both Fayette Nale and her husband, who were retired, had worked for Ford.
She wants her survivor benefits, with interest. She is represented by Sherry Wells of Royal Oaks.