Court says man who killed wife in drunken crash can receive her state benefits for life

Published 9:26 am Friday, October 4, 2019

A Mississippi man who killed his wife in a drunken crash in 2014 can collect her state benefits for the rest of his life.

The Clarion Ledger reports a state appellate court upheld a decision Tuesday that said Jeremy Earnest is entitled to a portion of survivor benefits belonging to his wife, who was a state employee.

The court’s opinion says the current state law means Mississippi can’t deny the benefits.

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One appellate judge issued a concurring opinion that said that it seems wrong for Earnest to benefit from Megan Hicks’ death when he willfully decided to drink and drive.

Earnest was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for DUI manslaughter. The $388 monthly payments were paused during the case and started in May 2015.