By Mike Stetzer
A couple of months ago, we detailed a disturbing Reno divorce case in which a man was accused of killing his wife and shooting the judge whom presided over the messy divorce, and here's the latest update on the headline-making story.
Darren Mack has been ordered to abide to the terms of a verbal divorce settlement that he tentatively agreed to with his wife Charla and Judge Chuck Weller. Mack was allegedly unhappy that Weller told Charla's divorce attorney in May 2006 to draw up the settlement order that he had tentatively agreed to and later balked at.
On June 12th of last year, Mack allegedly stabbed Charla to death before firing bullets into the chambers containing Weller, who was sprayed with a piece of shrapnel but fully recovered a couple of days later. Mack fled and was on the lamb for 11 days before surrendering in Mexico. He has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. His criminal trial is set for October 1st.
Exactly one year after allegedly killing his wife and shooting Weller, Mack was ordered to pay more than $1 million to the estate of his wife. Specifically, Judge David Huff ruled on June 12th that Mack pay $480,000 in cash to the estate of Charla Mack. Huff also ordered Mack to pay $500,000 to the estate in the next five years and tacked on an additional $15,500 for arrears and $6,500 from a brokerage account.
The shooting of Weller prompted all Washoe County judges to be removed from the Mack divorce case, and Clark County Judge Huff thus stepped in. Mark Wray, the civil attorney for Darren Mack, claimed in an Associated Press story that Huff was merely "rewriting history" and that he would consult his client to determine their next course of action.
The murder of Charla Mack and the shooting of Weller prompted legislators to propose several new divorce laws in Nevada. As Darren Mack had believed that Weller was unfairly siding with this wife (allegations that Weller fully denied upon recovering from the shooting), Nevada Assemblyman John Carpenter introduced AB52, which would review how judges come to alimony decisions in the state. That bill was amended several times, and passed the Nevada Assembly and Senate on April 16th and May 25th respectively.
AB45 and AB125 were other proposed Nevada divorce laws that followed in the wake of the disturbing Mack case. AB45 would eliminate parental rights for anyone convicted of soliciting murder while AB125 would require judges to consider a history of domestic violence when determining alimony payments. Both of these bills saw no action in the Assembly this session.