Authorities are piecing together the events of a New Year’s Day murder – suicide involving two Navy pilots and two other people in San Diego. Investigators are trying to determine the motive behind the murder-suicide and whether jealousy might have played a role. John Robert Reeves shot himself in the head, and the three other people with him, including the sister, were murdered. They included Navy pilot David Reis, Karen Reis, and Matthew Saturley. Reeves, 25, of Prince Frederick, Md., and David Reis, also 25, of Bakersfield, were both training as F/A-18 fighter pilots assigned to the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing at nearby Miramar Air Station. Full article.

The Slayer Law is a doctrine that prohibits inheritance by a person who murders someone from whom he or she stands to inherit. For example, a murderer does not inherit from parents they killed. The effect of the slaying was that the slayer would be treated as though he or she had died before the person who had been murdered. Unlike criminal court where the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt for conviction, the slayer rule applies to civil law, so it is only necessary to prove the wrongful killing by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that even a slayer who is acquitted of the murder in criminal court can still be prohibited from inheriting from the estate.

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