A Montana judge has ruled that David Gilmore, a New Port Richey attorney whose client gunned down the mother of a teenage prodigy he was obsessed with, is not responsible for his client's actions.
In October, Gilmore was named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Montana by the victim, Georgia Smith, and her daughter, Promethea Pythaitha. They are suing the estate of Gilmore's client, Thomas Kyros, an 81-year-old New Port Richey retiree who was fanatical about Pythaitha.
In his will, which Gilmore drafted, Kyros gave Pythaitha two-thirds of his estate but wrote — in bold — she would receive no money "while her mother, Georgia A. Smith, is living."
In November 2010, Kyros left his home and drove 2,430 miles to Bozeman, Mont., to be near Pythaitha, who was then 19. She was a Greek-American child genius who graduated from Montana State University at 14 with a degree in mathematics. Kyros heard about her and began sending her financial support. But as his obsession grew, Pythaitha and her mother, Georgia Smith, withdrew and refused to communicate with him or accept his gifts.
He blamed Smith.
On Jan. 17, 2011, Kyros drove his car into the fence around Pythaitha's and Smith's home on Outlaw Hill Road outside Livingston, a remote area of Montana. When the two women came outside, authorities say, Kyros shot Smith five times, calling her a whore and a beast. Smith survived. Kyros was killed by police.
The suit alleged that Gilmore, who is also the executor of Kyros' estate, knew his client was in Montana and had enough evidence to know he was plotting something malicious and should have contacted law enforcement. It said Kyros sent a fax to Gilmore more than a month before the attempted murder and told him that all information about Pythaitha was null and void "for as long as Georgia is alive."
The Montana judge ruled Friday that Gilmore could not have known Smith would be harmed, the Associated Press reported.
"Georgia and Promethea are disappointed," said their attorney, Jason Armstrong,
The judge ordered the two sides to go into settlement talks.
"We are looking at our options," Armstrong said.
Kyros' estate is estimated to be $600,000 or less, court documents state.
Gilmore did not return a call Tuesday for comment.
Smith is paralyzed in her left arm, the lawsuit said, and will require "a lifetime of care" and further surgery to repair the wounds Kyros caused. Pythaitha, who jumped on top of her mother's body to stop the shooting, and Smith have suffered severe emotional and psychological distress, the suit states.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6229