Confessed Killer Denied Visitation With Daughter
Posted February 15, 2007 7:21 p.m. EST
Updated February 15, 2007 9:19 p.m. EST
AIDS researcher Eric Miller was killed in December 2000 after ingesting arsenic. Kontz pleaded guilty five years later to killing him and is now serving a 25-year prison sentence.
Verus and Doris Miller, Eric Miller's parents, asked a judge to block all visitation between Kontz and her 7-year-old daughter, Clare Miller. The Millers also requested that they be given custody of the child, who now lives in Wilmington with Kontz' sister and brother-in-law, Dan and Danielle Wilson.
District Judge Phyllis Gorham last April accepted an agreement to place Clare in the custody of the Wilsons and grant the Millers secondary custody. The Millers frequently travel from their Indiana home to visit their granddaughter in North Carolina.
Gorham ruled Thursday that Kontz should have no visitation rights with Clare, although she said the Wilsons could ask the courts in the future to reverse her decision.
It will be up to the Wilsons, as legal guardians, to decide if Clare can call or write her mother, Gorham ruled. Although they won't have veto power, the Miller family will be informed of any contact Clare has with her mother, the judge said.
Under the ruling, the Miller family also will get 18 days with Clare in the summer, three days after Christmas and three weekends a year with her in North Carolina.
Robert Ponton, an attorney for the Millers, said they were thrilled to obtain court-ordered visitation rights with their granddaughter. They also have the right to talk to her on the phone every Sunday night, he said.