Judge refuses to discharge Swain's debt to in-laws
Arthur N. Votolato Jr., U.S. Bankruptcy District Judge in Providence, on May 4 entered a default judgment against David Swain, Jamestown businessman and former town councilor.
The judge said that his order means that Swain cannot gain discharge of the February R.I. Superior Court judgment that awarded $4.8 million, including interest and penalties, to Richard and Lisa Tyre, also of Jamestown, the parents of Shelley Tyre, the late wife of Swain. The Superior Court civil verdict by a jury said that Swain was responsible for the drowning death of his wife in 1999.
Bankruptcy law provides that debtors who commit "willful and
malicious injury" to another person or his or her property remain responsible for any related debts.
A criminal investigation of the death of Shelley Tyre is being undertaken by authorities in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, where the death occurred.
Swain is also awaiting action on his appeal of the Superior Court verdict, as well as settlement of the probating of his wife's estate, on hold because of the Superior Court activity. Swain accessed and spent more than half of the nearly $1 million estate before the hold was applied via a lien on the $631,000 property at 79 North Main Rd. that his wife owned and he operates as Ocean State Scuba, a dive shop.