A state district jury yesterday cleared oil millionaire Ash Robinson of civil charges that he had conspired to have his son-in-law, Dr. John Hill, killed.
The jury in the $7.6 million wrongfully death suit agreed that relatives of the slain doctor, including Robinson's grandson, deserved several hundred thousand dollars in compensation for their mental anguish, but did not specify that Robinson should provide the money.
The 79-year-old millionaire stood up and was embrased by his wife after the verdict. "I am going home right now . . . I am a happy man," Robinson said.
Robinson was sued by Hill's third wife and other relatives. Hill, a plastic surgeon, was shot to death by a masked gunman at his fashionable home in 1972. The Hill family claimed Robinson arranged the slaying to avenge the death of Robinson's only daughter, Joan Robinson Hill, the doctor's first wife.
When he was killed, Hill was awaiting a trial on a charge he killed his first wife through medical neglect in 1969. No criminal charges have been filed against Robinson.
The Hill slaying and the death of Joan Robinson Hill were the basis for the best-selling book "Blood and Money."