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Appeals court: Widower can no longer file suit

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) — The widower of a Wisconsin woman killed in 1980 waited too long to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the convicted killer, according to a court of appeals.

The 4th District Court of Appeals issued a written decision Thursday, agreeing with Columbia County Circuit Court Judge W. Andrew Voigt. He decided in February that the wrongful death lawsuit was filed four months after the two-year deadline of the statute of limitations, according to the Portage Daily Register.

Randolph resident Curtis Forbes, who is now 56, was convicted in 2010 of killing 18-year-old Marilyn McIntyre in Columbus. Her husband found her body when he returned from working an overnight shift on March 11, 1980. The couple’s 3-month-old baby was in a crib.

Forbes was charged in March 2009 after advances in DNA technology revived the investigation.

McIntyre’s husband, Lane McIntyre, and their son, Christopher McIntyre, filed the lawsuit in July 2011.

The law requires that wrongful death cases be filed within two years of the date when it is known to a reasonable probability the identity of the person alleged to have committed the murder.

Just when that date begins in McIntyre’s death was the issue up for debate.

Voigt ruled in January 2013 that the date in the case against Forbes started at the point when Forbes was formally charged in Marilyn McIntyre’s murder. The formal complaint was filed March 30, 2009, making the July 2011 filing of the wrongful death suit four months too late.

The attorney who filed the case, William Gergen, had argued in the appeal that the two-year clock should have started only when Forbes was found guilty — on Nov. 15, 2010.

The phone rang unanswered Saturday at Gergen’s office.

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