Legal Ethics

Legal Fees Get 2 Ga. Lawyers Indicted Under 'Slayer's Statute'

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When Candace Rader and Valerie Cooke represented Debra Post in a murder case, they were allegedly paid $320,000 in legal fees through life insurance proceeds and real estate she deeded over to them.

The problem is, their client was accused of—and eventually pleaded guilty in 2003—to murdering her husband. And, under Georgia’s “Slayer’s Statute,” a murderer isn’t entitled to profit from his or her victim’s estate, as Rader and Cooke allegedly helped their client to do, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The indictment against the two attorneys is the first time a criminal case has been brought under the statute, the newspaper reports.

Each is charged with six counts of theft by taking and one count of theft by receiving. They were taken to the Douglas County Jail after their Thursday arrest, the Atlanta paper says, and released the next day on $100,000 bond each, the Associated Press reports.

Additional coverage:

Fox News: “Lawyers Arrested, Charged with Theft of Murder Victim’s Assets”

WSB-TV: “2 Carroll County Lawyers Indicted On Theft Charges”

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