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Armstrong v. Armstrong

Mississippi Supreme Court
170 So.3d 510 (2015)


Facts

Paranoid schizophrenic John Armstrong (defendant) killed his mother. The state found him not competent to stand trial for murder and committed him to a mental hospital. His mother’s will left her estate to all five of her children, and named John’s brother, Terry Armstrong (plaintiff), as executor. Terry asked the probate court to declare the devise to John void under Mississippi’s Slayer Statute, which prevents someone who willfully killed another from inheriting from the victim. The court declared the devise void but put John’s share in a trust pending appeal. John’s guardian ad litem appealed, arguing that John lacked the mental capacity to commit a willful act, meaning the Slayer Statute did not apply.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Randolph, J.)

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