Estate of Denial news clips (2/22/17)

Van Note defense, prosecution clash over gunshot evidence (MO)

Kansas City Star

February 13, 2017

Lebanon, Mo.

A criminologist’s testimony that the killer of William Van Note and his girlfriend was someone taller than the defendant set off a fiery exchange Monday in Susan Van Note’s double-murder trial.

John Wilson used trigonometry in an attempt to show that the gun probably was fired from a height taller than 61.25 inches, which is the elevation of Susan Van Note’s eyes if she were wearing one-inch heels. Wilson said the first shot hit William Van Note in the upper back at a downward angle.


Attorney: Retired Judge Lewis did not benefit from former clerk misconduct (GA)

Savannah Morning News

February 13, 2017

An attorney for retired Chatham County Probate Court Judge Harris Lewis is arguing that Lewis did not personally benefit financially from any wrongdoing by former clerk Kim Birge.

And attorney Noble Boykin Jr. argued in documents filed in Chatham County Superior Court last week that Lewis was unaware of Birge’s wrongful acts until Nov. 19, 2014, when he immediately suspended her, pending termination.


Arroyo says he faced sabotage as he diversified staff at Suffolk register of probate (MA)

The Boston Globe

February 14, 2017

The suspended Suffolk register of probate is alleging he faced resistance and sabotage by longtime court employees who resented his efforts to diversify the staff and hire people with language skills to assist residents who don’t speak English.

An attorney for register Felix D. Arroyo said Monday that Arroyo inherited an office hobbled by years of mismanagement and cronyism. Arroyo became register in 2015 as the first person of color elected to the post. Court officials suspended him earlier this month without making specific allegations of wrongdoing and placed him on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the operation of the office.


Lawyer files complaint against JP who issued $4 billion bond (TX)

Temple Daily Telegram

February 14, 2017

BELTON — A complaint was filed with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct against Bell County Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown, who set a record-breaking $4 billion bail for a murder suspect last week before a judge lowered it to $150,000.

Lawyer Jeff Parker said he filed the complaint Friday against Brown, the newly elected Democrat representing Precinct 4, Place 1. The hefty bail was meant to protest high bails in the criminal justice system, Brown told the Telegram last week.


Commissioners vote to create new district court (TX)

Denton Record Chronicle

February 14, 2017

Denton County commissioners have asked the Texas Legislature to create a new court and expand the jurisdiction of another.

Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday on a resolution supporting the creation of a new district court to handle an increasing number of cases as the county grows.



Lake Expo

February 14, 2017

LEBANON, Mo. — Susan “Liz” Van Note is not guilty of murdering her father and his fiancée, a jury decided on Monday, in one of the most high-profile crime stories from the region in the past decade.

William Van Note and Sharon Dickson were shot and stabbed in their Sunrise Beach home on Lake of the Ozarks, on Oct. 2, 2010.

Investigators focused on Liz, William’s only living child, after they learned she had allegedly forged a Power of Attorney document to remove her father from life support at University Hospital just days after the attack.


Susan Van Note Found Not Guilty of Double Murder (MO)

February 15, 2017

LEBANON, Mo– A jury in Lebanon has found Susan Van Note not guilty for the deaths of her father and his girlfriend.

The jury deliberated for about four hours.

Susan (Elizabeth) Van Note was suspected of shooting her father, William Van Note, and his girlfriend, Sharon Dickson, at a Sunrise Beach home on October 2, 2010. Both victims were found shot and stabbed.


Oak Creek firm at center of bitter family probate fight is now up for sale (WI)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

February 15, 2017

An Oak Creek packaging company at the center of a bitter, expensive family legal fight is now for sale, the interim CEO has announced.

Seville Flexpack Corp. has been family owned since Walter Yakich started it 38 years ago. Upon his death in 2014 he left ownership of the company to his children but full control of it to one daughter, Jan Drzewiecki, who said she had no intention of ever selling the firm or paying dividends.