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$1-million offered to end husband's role

An attorney for Michael Schiavo says he will not take a businessman's money to surrender guardianship to his wife's parents.

Published March 11, 2005

A wealthy California businessman offered Terri Schiavo's husband $1-million Thursday if he walks away as his wife's guardian and lets the woman's parents take over.

Saying he wants to keep Schiavo alive, Robert Herring Sr. deposited the cash into his attorney's bank and awaits word from Schiavo's husband.

"It seemed like everybody was wasting a lot of money and wasting a lot of time" in the courts, Herring said in an interview. "So I came up with the idea to shortcut everything and make an offer."

An attorney for Michael Schiavo said the offer won't be accepted. Attorney George Felos said Schiavo turned down a similar $10-million offer about two weeks ago made via an attorney for an anonymous Floridian.

Previously, Schiavo also received an offer of $700,000, and that was turned down, Felos said. The lawyer said Schiavo once promised to his wife before her collapse 15 years ago not to let her live by artificial means.

"There is no amount of money anyone can offer him to induce him to betray his promise to Terri," Felos said. "He's simply not going to betray her for money."

Even if he changed his mind, Michael Schiavo would be powerless to stop the removal of his wife's feeding tube on March 18, Felos said. A court has ruled Terri Schiavo would not want to live by artificial means, and her husband can't reverse the court order, Felos said.

Herring's offer was contingent on the court approving Terri Schiavo' parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, as the new guardian for their daughter.

Herring, 63, is described by California media as one of the wealthiest individuals in the San Diego area. A technology mogul who made riches manufacturing circuit boards, Herring also is the founder of Wealth TV, which shows how the wealthy acquire and enjoy their riches.

Herring said in a written statement announcing the offer that he believed new medical advances, including stem cell research, might help Schiavo.

In 1998, Michael Schiavo offered to donate to charity the $700,000 then remaining in a trust account set up for his wife's care if her parents agreed to let her feeding tube be removed. They refused.

The money had been won in a medical malpractice case. Schiavo stood to inherit it upon his wife's death. Today, only about $50,000 remains.

"He has said from the beginning that this case isn't about money," Felos said.

[Last modified March 11, 2005, 01:24:19]

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