Insurance company withholds life insurance payout to Greene County man who killed stepfather
A Greene County man who was sentenced to up to 23 months in jail for involuntary manslaughter in the death of his stepfather during an argument over flowers placed on a grave wants a share of the man's life insurance proceeds.
Scott Rodeheaver, 52, of Jefferson entered a general plea of guilty to the charge in the death of Charles Rodeheaver, 69. He initially was charged with criminal homicide in connection with the fatal confrontation on Dec. 2, 2010.
The younger Rodeheaver punched the elder Rodeheaver outside the Route 40 Classic Diner in Redstone, Fayette County, causing Charles Rodeheaver to fall and strike his head on concrete, police said. The victim died six days later.
Rodeheaver was sentenced to 6 to 23 months in prison in August, but he was granted early parole in December. Judge Gerald Solomon approved early release after attorney Sam Davis of Uniontown said in a petition that Rodeheaver had an opportunity at employment upon his release.
In a motion filed in Fayette County civil court, Davis is asking a judge to enter a judgment allowing Rodeheaver to collect a portion of his stepfather's life insurance.
The insurance company, Prudential, was to pay out $17,348 in benefits to Rodeheaver's two daughters and his stepson at the time of Charles Rodeheaver's death, according to a related case filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.
Prudential paid one-third shares to each of the daughters, according to the federal lawsuit, but is withholding payment of the remaining $5,782 to Scott Rodeheaver. The insurance company contends that under Pennsylvania law, Rodeheaver is not entitled to the money because he “participated in the willful and unlawful killing of another” person.
The money, according to the lawsuit, should be divided between the daughters, Cheryl Rodeheaver of Smithfield and Diane Rodeheaver of Owens Cross Roads, Ala.
In the motion filed in Fayette County, Davis contends that under Pennsylvania law, the Slayer Act does not apply to Scott Rodeheaver because he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, which does not require the intent to kill. Only persons who take part in the “willful and unlawful killing” of another person are prohibited from benefiting financially from the person's death, Davis argues.
Davis wants a Fayette County judge to declare that Scott Rodeheaver is entitled to the life insurance money.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Vietnam vets from Fayette recall service — and those who didn’t make it home
- Gulf War veteran restores Uniontown mansion
- Washington County native to lead Farmington arts center
- Connellsville WWII veteran recalls close calls as a bomber navigator
- Army unit reunites to honor fallen comrade in Uniontown
- Connellsville building owner uses graffiti to point out unsightly demolition debris
- South Connellsville man has fond memories of service in Navy
- Vanderbilt council addresses abandoned homes, parking
- Keepsake ornament depicts Dunbar church history
- Fayette County area communities plan Memorial Day events
- Brownsville Boy Scouts make sure vets are not forgotten