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Grandparents Fight for Child's Custody

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A bitter custody battle continued in Wilmington Wednesday.

The parents of a Raleigh man who was poisoned by his wife are trying to keep their granddaughter away from the her mother. An expert took the stand and presented the other side of the case.

That expert was another psychologist with a different view. The psychologist thinks the court's ban on Clare Miller visiting her mother, Ann Miller Kontz, in prison has not been good for the child.

Both sides of the case agree the outcome should be what is best for the child, who is also the murder victim's daughter.

Eric Miller's father, mother and sister think the girl, who is seven, should not be exposed to her mother Ann Miller Kontz. Kontz is in prison serving a minimum of 25 years for murdering Eric, her first husband and the father of her child.

Wednesday, Kontz's attorney called Dr. Thomas Mates to the witness stand. The doctor said the child told he, "I want to see my Mommy Ann. She's staying in Raleigh because she's being punished for lying to the  police. She has to stay there a long time."

Dr. Mates believes Miller should be allowed to visit Kontz.

A psychologist hired by the Millers tested Kontz and says it would not be in the girl's best interest to have contact with her mother. But Dr. Mates questioned that colleague's use of tests he believes are controversial and invalid.

In addition to deciding whether Kontz can have contact with her daughter, the judge must also decided on a visitation schedule between Eric Miller's family and Kontz's sister who is raising Clare in Wilmington.

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