Estate of killed woman finalized in Trumbull probate court

By Ed Runyan


The estate of a woman killed at her Southington home July 31, 2012, will have $519,965 to distribute among the beneficiaries and attorneys, a Trumbull County judge has ruled.

The estate of Donna Honaker filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in county common pleas court in October 2012, seeking assets that ordinarily would have gone to her husband, Royce Honaker, who is accused of killing her.

But Royce Honaker, 62, who is charged with the murder of Donna Honaker, agreed to give most of the assets to the estate so that they could be shared among his four children, said Atty. John H. Chaney III.

Chaney, who was appointed guardian for the estate of Royce Honaker as a result of Honaker’s being charged with his wife’s murder, said Royce Honaker has repeatedly insisted that “everything go to his children.”

The estate involves three pieces of real estate — the home on Countyline Turnpike Road where the Honakers lived at the time Donna Honaker died, and homes on Hoagland-Blackstub Road in Bazetta and State Road in Champion.

It also includes $105,000 from a life-insurance policy on Donna Honaker, for which Royce Honaker was the beneficiary, and two bank accounts in Donna Honaker’s name.

Royce Honaker was able to keep four vehicles as well as his Ford Motor Co. pension.

Judge Thomas A. Swift of county probate court Tuesday gave Chaney authority to enter into an agreement to resolve the civil lawsuit.

Royce Honaker is at Heartland Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in Massillon, where he was sent in May by Judge Andrew Logan of common pleas court to be evaluated for his competency to stand trial in his wife’s death.

But attorneys at the hearing Tuesday said Honaker has been restored to competency and will be back in the trial court for an Aug. 12 hearing.

Atty. Paul F. Adamson, who represents Honaker in his criminal case, said Honaker “remains very sharp in his financial matters,” despite the mental-health issues that sent him to the psychiatric hospital.

Distribution of the estate assets will be finalized later.

Authorities were alerted to Donna Honaker’s death as a result of a 911 call from Royce Honaker, who told a dispatcher he had just killed her.

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