KANSAS CITY, Missouri — A Missouri lawyer accused of killing her father and his girlfriend and later forging documents to become personal representative of her father's estate has been ordered to remain in jail until she repays part of money from the estate that she spent on herself.
Susan Elizabeth Van Note, 47, of Lee's Summit, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the October 2010 shooting deaths of William Van Note, 67, and Sharon Dickson, 59, at their vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Dickson died at the scene but William Van Note was hospitalized in Columbia. Prosecutors allege his daughter forged durable power of attorney documents, leading doctors to remove the elder Van Note from life support.
Susan Van Note was named personal representative of her father's estate in February 2011, about four months after he died. A Missouri appeals court in Kansas City said Tuesday in an eight-page opinion that Van Note sold or used several pieces of her father's estate for her own purposes, the Jefferson City News Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1B6vjJ5 ).
The court ruled that Van Note can continue to be held in the Clay County Jail until she repays at least part of her father's estate. The estate had an estimated value of $1.6 million, according to court records.
Van Note's powers as personal representative were suspended on Sept. 17, 2012, after she was charged with her father's murder.
David Holdsworth, who was appointed to replace her, filed a petition in November 2012 in Clay County asking a court to order her to return estate property she had used for herself. Van Note claimed she couldn't return the property because she had used the money to post $1 million cash bond in the murder case.
However, she was found in contempt of court in July 2013 after the probate court received evidence that the $1 million cash bond was replaced with a $250,000 criminal bond and that she had the financial means to return the property. She was ordered jailed in Clay County until she delivered $272,613 to Holdsworth.
Van Note appealed that order but Presiding Judge Mark D. Pfeiffer wrote Tuesday that "Van Note's underlying contentions are simply refuted by the record in this case."
Van Note's criminal trial is scheduled to begin in February in Laclede County.
Information from: Jefferson City News Tribune, http://www.newstribune.com