OMAHA (AP) — An Omaha man who spent two years in prison for killing his wife in 2009 has been awarded half of the $150,000 payout from her life insurance policy.
Patrick Cain, 61, was sentenced in April 2011 to four to six years in prison for manslaughter in the death of his 57-year-old wife, Evelyn. Police found her body stuffed inside a closet at their Omaha home in December 2009. An autopsy said she died of blunt-force trauma to the head, and prosecutors said Cain told officers who arrived at his house that he pushed her down a flight of stairs during an argument.
Cain pleaded no contest to manslaughter but maintained at his sentencing that his wife's death was an accident. Cain said they had both been drinking heavily and that she fell down the stairs.
Both Cain and Evelyn's family filed claims for Evelyn's life insurance benefits. Cain was released from prison on parole on June 20.
Nebraska law says a person who "feloniously and intentionally" kills a spouse in not entitled to the deceased spouse's life insurance payout. But Cain argued in his claim for his wife's life insurance that there was no evidence he intentionally killed Evelyn. His attorney, Richard Henkenius of Omaha, argued that the manslaughter charge specifically stated that Cain killed his wife "without malice upon a sudden quarrel and unintentionally" while committing an unlawful act.
The insurance company asked a federal court to determine who should collect.
On Oct. 1 — a day before Cain's parole expired — a federal magistrate dismissed the case because Cain and his wife's estate agreed to split the $150,000, plus interest.
That left both sides with $78,197.
Neither Henkenius nor an attorney for Evelyn Cain's family immediately returned phone messages Friday seeking comment.
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