Jury Rules Man Insane For Willing $1.3 Million To U.S. Government
LISBON, N.D. (AP) _ A jury has found that a man who willed $1.3 million to the U.S. government was insane, rejecting arguments of government attorneys who contended the deceased just did not like his relatives.
The verdict came at the end of a week-long trial in Ransom County Court, where relatives of the late Lloyd Miller, 70, who left $1 apiece to his four brothers and sisters, sought to overturn his will. Lisbon is about 50 miles southwest of Fargo.
″We contended the will was not valid because it was the product of an insane delusion,″ said Mark Fraase, the family’s attorney.
The lifelong bachelor, who had a farm near Enderlin, died in February 1984. The will voided by the jury last week had been signed in 1980.
The government argued that the will was valid and that Miller did not like his relatives.
Hostility had arisen between Miller and his family after they had him removed as administrator of a brother’s estate in 1976, Fraase said.
Witnesses called by Fraase testified that he feared for his life and spent eight years living in a house with the windows boarded up. One witness said he believed he was being spied on through the radio on his tractor, Fraase said.
In a 1977 article from The Fargo (N.D.) Forum that was introduced as evidence at the trial, Miller said he was being followed by Australians who wanted to kill him.
Another witness testified that Miller wanted to spread his money among the 50 states so nobody could profit from killing him, Fraase said.
Fraase said he was satified with the verdict but did not think Miller was a villain. ″It wasn’t Lloyd’s fault,″ he said. ″He was sick.″
U.S. Attorney Rodney Webb refused to comment on the case, and said no decision had been made on an appeal.
″I don’t talk about victories and losses,″ he said. ″I don’t want to sound like sour grapes.″