Trust fund at stake in death suit

November 27, 2001|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

The lawyer for a murdered Annapolis woman asked an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge yesterday to force the trust fund for one of the men convicted in her slaying to pay her family a $600,000 wrongful death judgment.

The proceedings set the stage for an appeal that could create a new route for compensating crime victims.

But the attorney for the $877,000 trust fund said that the victim's estate has no claim to the money and that a judge should not make public policy in the name of victims' rights.

Both sides and Judge Robert H. Heller Jr. expect the issue to go the state's highest court. Under Maryland law, a court can order money taken from a trust fund for few reasons, among them to pay child support and taxes.

James Calvert McGee, 47, is the beneficiary of a trust fund set up by his mother, Sally D. McGee, who died in 1993. But McGee was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1995 slaying of Katherine Huntt Ryon, a 75-year-old nurse.

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