Custody Agreement Reached In Ann Miller Kontz Case
Posted April 6, 2006
WILMINGTON, N.C. — A Wilmington judge accepted an agreement Thursday that would permanently place the daughter of admitted killer Ann Miller Kontz in the custody of Kontz's sister.
Kontz, in November 2005, confessed to the 2000 poisoning death of her husband, Eric Miller.
Attorneys for Kontz; her sister, Danielle Wilson; and Verus and Doris Miller, Eric Miller's parents, came to an agreement that would give Wilson and her husband primary custody of 6-year-old Clare, and give the Millers secondary custody.
"The parties have what's called joint-legal custody, which means they have decision rights with regard to the child, but the child will live most of the time, primarily with my clients," said Jim Lea, the Wilsons' attorney.
The issue, still, is whether Kontz, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence, will be able to see her daughter.
"We're speaking of the relationship of a mother and a child," said Kontz's attorney, Al Clyburn. "And the issues of anger and animosity and bad blood -- those should not be allowed to color how we determine what's in Clare's best interest."
The Millers' attorney, Robert Ponton, said his clients feel strongly that Clare have no contact with her mother, who has had visits with her daughter from prison.
"She has not given up her right as a parent, under the law," Ponton said. "We believe, by her actions in murdering Eric Miller, she has forfeited those rights -- but not as a matter of law, yet."
A hearing date on the matter, however, has not been set.