The daughter of a prominent Springfield, Mo., attorney has filed a lawsuit against her mother, alleging she is responsible for her father's death.
In a petition filed in Greene County Mo., Faith G. Stocker alleges that her mother, Alberta Comstock, of Fairland, “acting alone or in conspiracy with another, shot the descendent (Rolland Comstock) four times with a .38 caliber weapon.”
The suit asks for unspecified damages for funeral costs and the “mental anguish” caused by Rolland Comstock's untimely death. It also requests punitive damages for “aggravating circumstances sufficient to punish (Alberta Comstock) and to deter others similarly situated from like conduct in the future …”
Greene County Chief Deputy Jim Arnott said Stocker, who is the adopted daughter of Rolland Comstock, has no evidence to support her claim. However, Alberta Comstock, has “definitely not been ruled out as a suspect.”
“We are waiting for DNA test results from Alberta Comstock and her son, Michael Comstock, before we can move forward with the investigation,” Arnott said.
Stocker says she has all the evidence she needs.
Rolland Comstock, a respected probate attorney and rare book collector, was found shot to death in his home north of Springfield on July 3, 2007.
At the scene, authorities found a cigarette which, when ran through a national DNA database, signaled a preliminary match to a DNA profile of Michael Comstock, the victim's 40-year-old estranged son.
Michael Comstock, who was adopted as a child by 70-year-old Rolland Comstock, told authorities he had a dispute with his father and had not been to his home in two or three years.
“Among the items we found at the scene of Rolland Comstock's death were spent .38 rounds,” said Arnott. “No empty shell casings were located, which would indicate either the assailant picked up the spent casings or the weapon was a revolver.”
Alberta Comstock told authorities that she once owned a .38 caliber revolver but it had gone missing.
“She told detectives that she was not sure when she last saw it, nor did she ever report it missing,” said Arnott.
Through the investigation, authorities learned that the day prior to Rolland Comstock's death, Alberta Comstock purchased a .38 caliber revolver from an Ottawa County gun salesman.
The salesman, Mike Friend, told authorities Alberta Comstock kept mentioning that she needed to shoot, pointing in the direction of Missouri.
Rolland and Alberta Comstock had been married for about 38 years when they divorced in 2005. Court documents indicate that the couple remained locked in dispute over $215,000 Rolland Comstock was to pay in a settlement agreement.
Authorities also found a black attaché case containing legal documents belonging and addressed to Alberta Comstock as well as personal medical papers.
“This documentation is confidential Attorney-Client communication between Alberta Comstock and her counsel,” said Arnott. “It would not have been available to the victim.”
Rolland Comstock's employees told authorities the attaché case did not belong to him.
“Alberta told detectives that she had been to (Rolland Comstock's) home about a week before his death but that she stopped at the gate to his property,” said Arnott.
DNA samples found at the scene will be compared to samples taken from Alberta Comstock and Michael Comstock.
In an interview with detectives, Michael Comstock said his father had disowned him about 10 years ago. He also revealed that he had an addiction to drugs and in the past had threatened to kill his father, but stated that he did not mean it.
“He told detectives that if DNA found at the scene matched his DNA profile it was because he was being set up,” said Arnott.
Stocker says she is convinced her mother is responsible for the death of her father, regardless of what legal evidence may suggest.