Lake Crystal Murder Legislation 28 Feb 13

A bill inspired by the murder of a Lake Crystal man is rapidly making its way through the state legislature. The legislation sponsored by State Representative Tony Cornish of Good Thunder stems from what the family of James Nibbe calls a “second victimization.” Nibbe was murdered by his wife Jennifer in 2010, but his family says his personal property was taken by her family prior to her conviction. Minnesota does have a “slayer” statute that says if someone kills their spouse they cannot benefit from the death through inheritance. Cornish says that his new law would expand upon that. The new law would allow marital property assets to be frozen immediately in the event of a suspicious death, until the case is resolved or charges are brought. The House Civil Law Committee unanimously approved the bill after a brief discussion Tuesday. It now goes before the House Judiciary Committee before going to the House Floor. The bill is already awaiting a vote on the Minnesota Senate Floor. Jennifer Nibbe was sentenced to 17 years in prison and over 8 years of supervised release for the murder.