A New Law Would Prevent Murderers From Benefiting From Victim's Estate

FREDERICK, MD - Jimmy Trout wears a button of his mother, Ann Sue Metz, on almost all of his clothes.

His step-dad murdered her in 2009 and then benefited from her estate.

"When you talk to somebody about a murderer being able to benefit by killing somebody else, everybody that we've ever talked to can't believe that it's not a law in the State of Maryland," Trout says.

Marshall Metz, Ann's husband, was convicted of first-degree murder. Police say he shot her twice in the chest and left her on the kitchen floor for an hour before calling for help.

The Trouts had to fight for two years just to get a cabinet and Ann's collection of Precious Moments statues. The family also lost some pictures of Ann. That's because Marshall was listed first on Ann's will.

"He dismantled everything that my mom had spent 60 years putting together and things that he wanted to leave us and my kids or anybody else was gone," Trout says.

Trout contacted Delegate Kelly Schulz, who is sponsoring a bill in Ann's name. The "Ann Sue Metz Law" or "Slayer's Law" would prevent a murderer from getting the insurance or estate of the victim. 47 states have a Slayer Law.

"This family has gone through this process for several years trying to remedy what the access is to them and to the personal property of their deceased mother. We don't need for victims to do that. We need to protect the rights of the victim and the victim's family," says Schulz, (R) - Frederick County.

Frederick City Police investigated Ann's murder and remember the case well.

"It's a pretty thoughtful piece of legislation. It does have some deterrent effect to keep people from planning homicides, murders, or acts of violence like that and probably the more beneficial thing is for the survivors," says Cpt. Richard Hetherington, deputy chief with the Frederick City Police Department.

"If we pass the law in her name, it's a way for her legacy to live forever," Trout says.

Trouts feels the bill could help prevent other families in Maryland from having go through the same heartache.

The Trouts will go to Annapolis Wednesday to testify for the house bill's hearing. It has 24 co-sponsors.

Senator Chris Shank, (R) - Washington County, is sponsoring the bill in the Maryland Senate.

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