The Washington State Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 6309, sponsored by Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, which would include persons acquitted by reason of insanity within the state’s slayer statute.
“Currently, if someone kills his or her spouse but is subsequently found not guilty by reason of insanity, it not inconceivable that he or she may actually benefit from the victim’s will or life insurance policy,” Carrell said. “Recently, the father of ice skater Nancy Kerrigan was murdered, allegedly by her brother. If that happened in Washington and the brother was found not guilty by reason of insanity, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he could be eligible to inherit his father’s estate.”
Carrell says Washington law is silent in this area, which creates a loophole through which someone could conceivably profit from the murder of a relative or family member.
“My bill clarifies that if someone did indeed willfully and unlawfully cause the death of another individual and is subsequently found not guilty by reason of insanity, that person cannot be eligible for any benefits,” Carrell said.
SB 6309 passed the Senate 46-0 and will now be considered by the House of Representatives.