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California Bill Cracks Down On Spouses Who Hire Hitmen

The moral of the following tale? Don't hire a hit man to kill your spouse. Hire a family lawyer in Pasadena instead.

A new bill being mulled over by a California state legislative committee is seeking to remedy a dangerous loophole in the state's no-fault divorce code. As the laws stand right now, exes in California who have solicited the murder of their estranged wives or husbands still are entitled to collect financial rewards in divorce proceedings. Shockingly, the current law states that if spouses are convicted for murdering or attempting to murder their spouses, they are not entitled to a cent of the financial benefits agreed upon during divorce proceedings. But if they hire a third party to commit the act, they can still collect the victim's assets.

How this bill came about is like a storyline from daytime soap opera. The wife of Southern California police detective Bill Pomroy hired a hit man from a Las Vegas motorcycle gang to murder her husband after she had lost custody of their children. Instead of going through with the plan, the gang members called the cops. After a secretly taped phone call with the woman, she was arrested and found guilty of solicitation of murder. But thanks to the snafu in California law, the woman received $70,000 after she was released from prison as part of her divorce settlement. Sensing a severe oversight, Pomroy leaped into action to help get the new bill on the legislative floor.

In its currently considered form, the new bill hopes to put an end to financial gains for people who have tried to have their spouses murdered. Divorce laws differ in every state; in California, a couple's assets are usually split right down the middle during a divorce. Pomroy's championed bill amends the law to bar spouses who solicit the murder of their spouses from collecting any financial rewards. The assembly is set to hear this bill and others in the upcoming days.

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