Minnesota court orders genetic testing for six purported family members, including half-siblings, a niece and grand-niece
A Minnesota judge overseeing Princes estate narrowed down the wide pool of potential heirs for the late superstars fortune on Friday, ruling out nearly 30 claimants while ordering genetic testing for six purported family members.
Carver county judge Kevin Eides order requires genetic testing for Princes sister, Tyka Nelson, plus three half-siblings: Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson and John Nelson. Ken Abdo, the lawyer for the three half-siblings declined to comment. Tyka Nelsons attorney did not immediately return a call.
Eide also ordered testing for Brianna Nelson, who has claimed to be Princes niece, and possible grand-niece Victoria Nelson. The pair has claimed Briana Nelsons father was Princes half-brother. Their lawyer, Andrew Stoltman, declined to comment.
Its unclear why the judge did not order testing for Omar Baker or Alfred Jackson, two men who were listed as half-brothers in the original petition for the court to name a special administrator to the estate. But Eides order includes a note that the court is not aware of any objection or dispute that all six siblings or half-siblings are legitimate heirs.
Jacksons lawyer, Justin Bruntjen, declined to comment. A lawyer for Baker could not be immediately reached.
Prince died 21 April of a drug overdose. The process of determining his heirs and dividing up his estate has fallen to the courts because he had no known children and left no will. A DNA test has already ruled out a Colorado prison inmate who claimed to be Princes son.
Barring any others who could come forward claiming ties, Eides order drastically limits who may benefit from Princes fortunes an estimated $300 million or more or gain control of his legacy.
Among those excluded from potential heirship in Eides order are five unidentified people who claim that Prince was their biological father. One woman, who said she was adopted, claimed Prince was her father because based upon the general description of the lifestyle of her biological parents, her fascination with the decedent and physical similarities.
The order also tosses out a handful of claimants who alleged that Princes father was someone other than John L Nelson, who is listed in court records as Princes father.
Among those claimants was Venita Jackson Leverette, whose lawyer, James Selmer, called Eides decision a travesty and said he is considering an appeal. Selmer said that his client would be banned from undergoing testing while a man serving an eight-year prison sentence in Colorado was given a DNA test.
The better course would be to allow people that have a plausible connection to him to have a blood test, he said.
The four Prince siblings or half-siblings ordered to undergo genetic testing all claim John L Nelson as their father. Susan Link, head of estate planning for Minneapolis-based firm, Maslon, said the judge may have ordered them to be tested because of the claimants who said John L Nelson wasnt actually Princes father even though he threw out those claims.
The two that dont need to be tested Baker and Jackson claim relation to Prince through a common mother, Mattie Shaw, but different fathers.