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ESTATE EDWARD J. DAMARIO (03/20/80)

decided: March 20, 1980.

IN RE ESTATE OF EDWARD J. DAMARIO, III, AN INCOMPETENT. APPEAL OF AMERICAN BANK AND TRUST CO. OF PA., GUARDIAN


No. 806 January Term, 1977, Appeal from the Decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, Pennsylvania, Orphans' Court Division, to No. 68074, which Dismissed the Exceptions of the Guardian of the Estate Entered to the Lower Court's Order of April 20, 1977, 69 Berks 153 (Pa.C.P. 1977).

COUNSEL

Robert T. Miller, Reading, for appellant.

C. Wilson Austin, County Sol., Alan S. Reading, Asst. County Sol., for appellee, County of Berks.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, and Kauffman, JJ. Eagen, C. J., and Larsen, J., concur in the result.

Author: Roberts

[ 488 Pa. Page 435]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant American Bank and Trust Company of Pennsylvania is the guardian of the estate of incompetent Edward J.

[ 488 Pa. Page 436]

Damario, III. Appellant challenges the decree of the Orphans' Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County directing the estate to reimburse the County of Berks for funds expended by the county for the defense of Damario in a murder prosecution. We hold that the decree of reimbursement on this record is proper and therefore affirm.

Edward J. Damario, III, was charged with the murder of his parents Assunta and Edward J. Damario. On Damario's affidavit attesting to indigency, the county appointed counsel for Damario. Damario was then tried in the Criminal Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County. On June 13, 1975, a jury returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Following trial, Damario was adjudicated incompetent in the orphans' court division and appellant was appointed guardian of his estate. Because Damario was adjudged not guilty by reason of insanity, his estate was not precluded under the Slayer's Act from inheriting from his parents' estates.*fn1 Shortly thereafter, the sum of $8,359.74 was distributed to the appellant-guardian by the administrator of the estate of Damario's mother.*fn2

On November 3, 1976, a petition was filed by Berks County, requesting that a citation be issued to appellant-guardian for reimbursement of $3,471.99, representing funds expended by the county for the defense of Damario. Appellant filed preliminary objections to the petition, alleging lack of statutory or decisional authority for such an order. The orphans' court division directed reimbursement, finding that the services provided and paid for by the county ...


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