By Stephen Wagner
Susan E. "Liz" Van Note, 45, a local attorney has been charged with 2nd degree murder in the 2010 death of her father’s girlfriend Sharon Dickson. The assault occurred in 2010 at the Lake of the Ozarks home of Ms. Van Note’s father, William Van Note. The accused was the sole heir of her father William’s estate.
At the time of the assault Sharon Dickson was pronounced dead at the scene and William was transported to Columbia MO for advanced treatment. Prosecutors allege that Liz Van Note then forged her father’s signature on a "durable power of attorney" to take control of her wounded father’s medical care. She then used those documents to withdraw lifesaving healthcare. Her father then died.
The victims were shot and stabbed at their vacation home in October 2010. Investigators were able to link Liz Van Note’s cell phone to cell towers in the vicinity of the home on the night of the murder and assault. Further evidence was obtained from her computer. According to original court documents, the power of attorney that William supposedly signed in 2009 was created a few days before the assault.
Bond for the second murder charge was set at $250,000 which Ms. Van Note posted. She was then released.
A couple previously charged in the death of William Van Note, Desre and Stacy Dory, formerly of Shawnee KS had their charges of 2nd murder and forgery dismissed.
Ms. Van Note is represented by Tom Bath who stated in 2012 that "…she produced a power of attorney without her father’s signature only because she couldn’t find the one he did sign." According to a quote in the Kansas City Star, Mr. Bath states that Ms. Van Note "…will continue to fight the allegations no matter where the prosecutors choose to file charges."
Ms. Van Note specialized in estate planning working out of her Kansas City Red Bridge Road office. In 2002 she and her mother Barbara were defendants in a civil suit alleging improper expenditures from a family member’s trust. Attorney Merle Parks represented the family members stated that an audit by the family revealed that approximately $400,000 was used for personal expenses for Barbara. Some of the money was used to purchase two adjoining homes: one was occupied by Barbara and the other by Liz Van Note and her husband. Liz Van Note was dismissed for lack of evidence and her mother Barbara was ordered to repay the money.
This is a complicated case with respect to jurisdictional issues. As of now, Liz Van Note is charged with both the murder of her father and forgery as well as the murder of Sharon Dickson. The Tribune could find no record of disciplinary action against Ms. Van Note since her arrest indicating that her law license is still valid.
September 7, 2012 http://lstribune.net/lees-summit-news/lee-s-summit-attorney-has-been-arrested-for-the-2010-slaying-of-her-father..htm
September 15, 2012 http://lstribune.net/lees-summit-news/lee-s-summit-attorney-arrested-for-2012-slaying-of-father.htm