Girl sues would-be benefactor’s estate

By September 20, 2011

Another one of those stories where reality is stranger than fiction: A child prodigy, attempted murder, and a dispute over the estate.
Girl sues would-be benefactor’s estate
Attorneys in a federal courtroom in Helena Monday said they’re trying to reach a settlement in a case in which a Florida man, obsessed with a Livingston teenager, shot the girl’s mother five times before he was killed by a Park County deputy.

Allan Baris, the attorney for defendant Thomas Kyros’ estate, told U.S. District Court Senior Judge Charles Lovell that they’ve been trying to reach an agreement with Georgia Smith and her daughter, Promethea Pythaitha, but the matter is complicated by a dispute over the estate, which is working its way through a Florida probate court.
Pythaitha is the main benefactor of a trust Kyros set up, the attorneys noted. Her mother filed a complaint against the estate, but Baris said it was not done in a timely fashion as a claim.
“So the issue is whether the complaint is adequate to establish a claim on behalf of Georgia Smith,” Baris said, which he added is merely a dispute of form over substance. “The other beneficiaries under the estate acknowledge Smith is a claimant … But we could go through a trial here and get a decision that’s not recognized by the probate court.”
Smith and Pythaitha’s attorney, Jason Armstrong, added that he’s filing a motion this week to get the matter before a Florida judge to resolve the matter so that the federal court case can move forward.
“The trust documents are what control the estate …” Smith said, noting that Pythaitha will be the beneficiary of 66 percent of the estate.
The glitch between the Florida probate court and the U.S. District Court is just one of the ongoing odd turns of events among Smith, Pythaitha and Kyros.
Kyros was a Florida resident when he learned about Pythaitha, who graduated from Montana State University at age 14 with a degree in mathematics and gained fame for some of the scholarly and controversial speeches that she gave. He became obsessed with her and tried to persuade her to attend an Ivy League college; when she refused, he blamed it on her mother and vilified her.
Pythaitha, now 19, eventually obtained a restraining order against Kyros, who fancied her as his adopted granddaughter. The order didn’t stop Kyros, 82, from traveling to Livingston in January, driving his truck through Smith’s fence, and shooting her at point-blank range multiple times.
“Plaintiff Pythaitha, who watched in horror as the scene unfolded, threw herself over her mother’s body to stop the onslaught of gunfire,” Armstrong wrote in the complaint and demand for jury trial, filed in federal court in March.
Kyros was unable to flee because his truck was stuck in the fence; he was killed in a shootout with deputies.
Smith suffered injuries to her left shoulder and groin, and needs additional surgeries to repair the damage. She also allegedly suffered emotional, psychological and financial harm, as did her daughter, who continues to care for her mother.
They’re seeking $181,000 in current and future medical expenses; $1.3 million for pain and suffering; $500,000 each for emotional distress, and $20,000 in punitive damages, for a total of $2.3 million.
In court documents, Baris wrote that their primary defense is insanity and despite his irrational frame of mind, he had no intention of harming Pythaitha.
Lovell set a trial date for May 21, just in case a settlement isn’t reached.
Reporter Eve Byron: 447-4076 or
By EVE BYRON Independent Record
From the Helena Independent Record. Read the full story here.