A Lee’s Summit lawyer previously accused in the 2010 death of her father now faces a second murder charge in the killing of her father’s girlfriend.
By TONY RIZZO
The Kansas City Star
Susan “Liz” Van Note, 45, was charged Tuesday in Camden County, Mo., with two counts of first-degree murder and forgery, according to court records. She initially had been charged in Boone County with one count of murder, but the case there was dropped and the new case was filed in Camden County with the additional count.
Van Note’s 67-year-old father, William Van Note, and his girlfriend, Sharon Dickson, 59, were shot and stabbed at their vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks in October 2010. Dickson died at the scene, and William Van Note was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Prosecutors say Susan Van Note forged durable power of attorney documents that led doctors to remove her father from life support.
Records for Susan Van Note’s cellphone showed that it was used to place two calls from the vicinity of her father’s residence on the night of the attack, according to court documents.
A Shawnee couple, Stacey and Desre Dory, initially were charged as accomplices in the case, but prosecutors on Tuesday dismissed second-degree murder and forgery charges against them.
Their attorney, Milt Harper, said additional investigation in the case showed that his clients did not commit a criminal offense.
“They have now been cleared,” Harper said.
Van Note made her initial court hearing on the new charges Tuesday and was released from custody after posting a $250,000 bond. She waived her right to a preliminary hearing and is to be arraigned Oct. 11.
Further analysis of Van Note’s computer records showed that the power of attorney document purportedly signed by William Van Note in 2009 actually was created just days before he and Dickson were attacked, according to the court documents.
The Dorys signed the document as witnesses, but later admitted to police that they didn’t see William Van Note sign the document. They also told police that Susan Van Note brought the document for them to sign after her father was shot and hospitalized, the documents said.
Susan Van Note’s lawyer, Tom Bath, said after her court appearance Tuesday that his client maintains her innocence.
“She will continue to fight the allegations no matter where prosecutors choose to file charges,” Bath said.
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