Mack seeks to invalidate murdered wife’s divorce agreement
November 4, 2008
An attorney for Darren Mack told the Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday his divorce settlement with his wife, whom he is convicted of killing, cannot be enforced because she died before it was finalized.
Julia Islas said District Judge Chuck Weller never finalized the agreement because it didn’t have the agreement of Mack’s mother, who owned the majority of the family’s business and assets.
Mack was convicted of stabbing his wife, Charla, to death, then shooting Judge Weller in the chest with a high-powered rifle from a building across the river from the courthouse. At the time, the two were engaged in a bitter divorce proceeding, with Weller as presiding judge.
“Nothing that happened before Charla Mack died resulted in an enforceable decree,” Islas told the high court.
She said Charla’s death effectively terminated the divorce proceedings, leaving the court no jurisdiction to complete that settlement agreement.
“The divorce was over but not the property agreement,” said Justice Michael Cherry.
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Chief Justice Mark Gibbons protested that, by his own actions, Mack “effectively removed these two people from the case.”
Islas said that doesn’t change the fact that, after her death, there was no case for a judge to rule on.
Egan Walker, representing Charla’s estate and family, said both sides had agreed to the settlement and that Weller and the judge who succeeded him in handling the case were simply putting that agreement on the record.
“This case was settled by the parties before Judge Weller in January 2006,” he said.
Walker said it would be a miscarriage of justice to allow Mack to escape the settlement he agreed to in court by killing his wife.
The Supreme Court took the case under submission.
– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.