SD lawyer part of effort to exhume actor's body

Posted at 6:18 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 11:07:04-05

SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego lawyer is joining the effort to exhume the body of Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney.

Rooney, who starred in more than 200 films, died in April 2014 at the age of 93. He passed away at his Los Angeles home and was discovered by his estranged wife and stepson.

Rooney's death was due to natural causes, officials said.

"Too many things just don't match up," said attorney Keith Greer.

Nearly two years later, several of Rooney's daughters are calling on Greer for help.

"The family is concerned with this sudden onset that something nefarious led to his death. He appeared to be in good health, and the next thing they know, he is dead and he changed his will," said Greer.

Weeks before his death, Rooney changed his will, leaving his modest estate of $18,000 to the caregiver who found him -- his stepson.

Before his death, Rooney sued another stepson for elder abuse and siphoning off his fortune, leading to a $2.8 million settlement that is still in the courts.

Peggy Walla, a Texas forensic document examiner who has poured over this will, called Rooney's signature "questionable."

After comparing the signature on the will to other known Rooney signatures, Walla said the stark differences reveal he could have signed it under duress or under the influence of drugs.

In a Radar Online article, the family pointed to the signature questions and vowed to have Rooney's body exhumed.

The lawyer who oversaw the will calls the accusations ridiculous and false.

If the courts approve a request to exhume the body, Rooney's family says famed medical examiner Cyril Wecht has agreed to do perform it.