Hire a hit-man to kill your spouse, lose your rights to a share of your spouse’s pension. That’s the essence of a bill (free reg. req.) signed into law Friday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
If that sounds like a Do-We-Really-Need-a-Law-for-This? bill to you, you’re not alone. Assembly Bill 2674 had a lot of people around the Capitol shaking their heads when San Diego Assemblyman Marty Block introduced it in February.
But the lack of explicit protection for targeted spouses actually forced a Pomona police detective to give the ex-wife who wanted him dead more than $56,000 in pension and retirement benefits.
John Pomroy’s wife, Tina Pomroy, pleaded guilty to soliciting the murder of her husband. The gun-man didn’t follow through and instead turned to police, who nabbed Tina Pomroy in a sting. After serving a short sentence behind bars, Tina Pomroy resumed divorce proceedings with her husband, seeking half of his pension. John Pomroy complained, citing a 1994 law that bars anyone convicted of attempting to murder his or her spouse from receiving a share of community property.
But a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge said the law only applies to spouses who personally attempt murder, not those who hire someone to do it for them. The new law, which takes affect Jan. 1, closes that loophole.
Pomroy acknowledged in an April interview that new law won’t help him but said that “maybe some poor sap in the future won't have to go through this.”