Hearing set to find out how Terri Horman is paying for lawyer

Hearing set to find out how Terri Horman is paying for lawyer

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by KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on August 3, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:45 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The father of missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman wants to know how his estranged wife is paying for her legal costs.

A court set an August 25 hearing date on a motion filed by Kaine Horman to find out how Terri Moulton-Horman is paying a reported $350,000 for criminal defense attorney Stephen Houze.

Last week, court papers filed by Terri stated she wants Kaine to pay her legal fees as they go through their divorce.

That filing claimed that Terri does not have the money to pay for a drawn out case. The filing also claims that Kaine Horman "grossly misstated" the $350,000 figure,  which was claimed in documents filed by Kaine's attorney.

But reliable sources told KGW the $350,000 figure was mentioned by Terri in a text to Michael Cook, a man she was accused of showing a sealed restraining order and sending sexually explicit text messages to in June. More: Restraining order reveals details

On Wednesday, Terri's attorney Peter Bunch filed a 'motion to abate' document. In it, Terri agreed not to contest the divorce, saying that intense media and law enforcement scrutiny and speculation prevented her from handling the case in an ordinary fashion. The motion would allow a judge to dismiss the case from a trial docket. The abatement requested issues regarding financial settlements and child care be postponed.

Details: Motion to abate (PDF)

"She's essentially choosing between her fifth amendment right and her ability to give evidence in the divorce," divorce attorney Jody Stahancyk said.

Details: Kaine seeks atty. fees

Terri's lawyer argues that Kaine cannot afford high legal fees and take care of the children, and that Terri was unemployed and at present "not employable," due to the Kyron case.

In the motion filed Wednesday, Terri claims Kaine was "using the divorce proceedings for purposes other than to move the case forward to a final resolution," and that the divorce shouldn't be complicated by the investigation into whether Terri had anything to do with Kyron's disappearance.

Citing the high-profile nature of the case, attorney Bunch argued in the abatement motion that it was "virtually impossible" to proceed with the divorce in an orderly fashion.

If the motion were to be approved, it could enable Terri to avoid giving testimony in court related to the divorce.

Reward doubled, family still hopeful

On Tuesday, the reward for information that leads to Kyron was doubled from $25,000 to $50,000 by an anonymous donor. 

More: Reward doubled

No suspects or persons of interest have been named in the disappearance of Kyron Horman, but attention has focused on Terri since she was the last person to report seeing Kyron after dropping him off at Skyline Elementary on June 4.

Detectives have not interviewed Terri since she retained Houze in July.

In court documents, the boy's father Kaine Horman stated police had provided him with "probable cause" to believe that Terri was involved in Kyron's disappearance, plotted to have Kaine killed, and was having a sexual affair.

Reliable sources told KGW that investigators said there was probable cause to arrest Terri in connection with Kyron's disappearance, and for soliciting someone to kill her husband, but the choice has been for the investigation to continue.

Earlier this month Kaine had Terri evicted from the family's NW Portland home and he returned to the home with the couple's young daughter, Kiara.

Complete coverage: Kyron Horman case

KGW Reporters Kyle Iboshi and Scott Burton contributed to this report

 

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