A bill that denies financial benefits to spouses who solicit the murder of their partners is scheduled to be heard in a state legislative committee on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. The bill was inspired by John Pomroy, a Pomona police detective whose wife had tried to hire gang members to kill him. He said that the bill would seek to close the loophole in the state's divorce law. The detective's wife, upset at losing custody of her children and facing monetary problems, had solicited members from a Vagos motorcycle gang living down the street to kill her husband. The gang members instead secretly taped a conversation with her that eventually led to her arrest and conviction for solicitation of murder.
Pomroy went to lawmakers determined to change the divorce law after his wife was awarded half of the couple's property in divorce court and collected about $70,000 from their estate after she was released from prison in 2004. California's divorce laws only protect the financial benefits of victims with spouses that are convicted of murdering or attempting to murder them. Victims of husbands or wives who hire hit men, however, are not protected.
The couple separated when the wife allegedly became addicted to pain killers, alcohol, and then illegal drugs. She was physically abusive and after Pomroy left her, she became desperate and strung out for money, according to the wife's attorney, Michael O'Brien.
“She tried to steal a basket full of groceries for her family and got caught,” he said. “She was at the end of her rope when these events took place.”