Col. Philip Shue's ex-wife takes the Fifth
In a video deposition played for the jury on Friday in the Tracy Shue vs. USAA Life Insurance Company lawsuit, Col. Philip Shue’s ex-wife, Nancy Timpson Shue, invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself when she was asked questions as to whether she, her husband, or her son had anything to do with the Colonel’s death.
Nancy Shue held one million dollars in life insurance on Philip Shue’s life. According to Lt. Roger Anderson, former Deputy in the Kendall County Sheriff’s Department and lead investigator in the local investigation of Col. Shue’s death, Florida residents Nancy Shue Timpson and her husband, Lt. Col. Don Timpson were suspects in the alleged murder of Shue. Lt. Col. Timpson is a pilot and a member of the Air Force Special Forces Unit.
Shue allegedly received two letters warning him that his former wife and her current husband were plotting to kill him.
When asked by defense attorney Bill Ford if anyone from the Sheriff’s Department had travelled to Florida to investigate the Timpsons’ possible involvement in the death of Shue, Anderson replied that the Sheriff’s Department did not have the resources to travel and he had relied on the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, OSI, to conduct the investigation in Florida. Although the OSI interviewed Nancy Timpson on two occasions, Anderson claimed that he had received only a one page summary of the interviews. An OSI report did contain information that Don Timpson maintained an extensive weaponry collection.
Col. Philip Shue died on April 16, 2003 and just five days later Nancy Shue filed a claim on her half-million dollar USAA life insurance policy on her former husband.
Just prior to his death, Shue changed his will, disinheriting both his former wife and their son Jeffrey. Shue had always contended that Jeffrey was not his biological son. In other testimony, Ron Shoe, Philip Shue’s cousin, testified that Nancy “was pregnant when they got married,” and that while married to Shue “she had a reputation for infidelity.”
Shoe also testified that Nancy Shue called the funeral home during the memorial service demanding a copy of Shue’s death certificate.
In other testimony, military psychiatrist Dr. Roy Marsh said that Shue had visited informally with him in October, 1999 after receiving the first alleged threat letter. Shue showed Dr. Marsh the letter and complained that he was frightened and suffering from insomnia and anxiety.
Shue visited Dr. Marsh again in December, 1999 and seemed to be less anxious. Marsh testified that Shue told him that he had written to USAA requesting that the life insurance policy be cancelled and had also sent a letter to his former wife requesting that she cancel the policy. Marsh also stated that Shue had not yet approached law enforcement.
In January, 2000, Shue again saw Marsh who testified that Shue was “much more distraught, tearful, anxious, and worried about being harmed.”
Monica Escobar, a USAA Member Service Representative at the time, responded to Shue’s letter requesting cancellation of the policy, stating that “only the owner may cancel a life insurance policy.” The response suggested that Shue “discuss these issues with your attorney, the Judge Advocate General’s office, or local law enforcement.”
Texas law does provide that life insurance policies can be cancelled in the instance of fraud, and Tracy Shue’s lead attorney, Jason Davis, contends that murder in order to collect on life insurance constitutes fraud.
USAA Life Insurance Company attorney Bill Ford has stated that its only obligation was to pay the proceeds of the policy and went over and beyond its duty by advising Shue to seek legal or law enforcement assistance.