A woman charged in the shooting death of her husband five years ago in Los Angeles told investigators she shot him in the head multiple times by accident, according to federal court documents.
Linda Doreen Gwozdz, 54, of Hattiesburg was picked up by U.S. Marshals Tuesday on a Los Angeles County murder warrant for the April 26, 2007, death of Patrick A. Duffey. Gwozdz, who had worked as a clinic secretary at Southern Miss since September 2010, remains at the Forrest County jail, awaiting extradition.
Protective Life Insurance Co. filed a complaint in interpleader in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles almost a year after Duffey's death, asking the judge to determine who was the rightful beneficiary to the man's $300,000 life insurance policy following his death.
District Judge John F. Walter signed an order in March 2009 ordering half the insurance benefit be paid to Duffey's two sons each, although Gwozdz was listed on the policy as the primary beneficiary.
One of the sons was a minor at the time, and Walter ordered his half to be remitted in a check to Gwozdz, then "deposited in a blocked account for the benefit of" Duffey's minor son.
After filing the complaint, Protective Life deposited $307,582.19, the benefit plus interest required by law, with the clerk of court to admonish the business of liability in the conflicting claims for the benefit.
The amount was split between the sons after subtracting more than $10,000 in attorney's fees incurred by Protective Life in the case.
The complaint states Gwozdz, then named Linda Duffey, was the primary beneficiary, and the sons were contingent beneficiaries designated to receive half the benefit each in the event Gwozdz was ineligible.
Protective Life began sending letters to Gwozdz in May 2007, requesting she submit forms to claim the benefit of the insurance policy, according to the complaint.
Gwozdz sent a letter back in September 2007 stating, "It is not my intention to abandon this property," along with a policy claim form and a certified death certificate.