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Entries in Poisoning (6)

Wednesday
Mar272013

Virginia Teens Admit to Attempting to Poison Teacher

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEWPORT NEWS, Va.) -- Two Virginia middle school students are facing felony charges of attempted poisoning after they allegedly spiked their teacher's tea at least twice with hand sanitizer.

The two 13-year-old male students, who have not been named, were removed from Hines Middle School in Newport News, Va., and placed in an alternative school after confessing, officials said. The attempted poisoning was brought to the school's attention by student witnesses on Jan. 29, who contacted the school's resource officer and assistant principal, according to Michelle Price with Newport News Public Schools.

"An investigation was started by the administrators at Hines," Price told ABC News. "This usually involves interviewing students involved, and the ones who came forward, and talking to the teacher. The students did then confess to putting some hand sanitizer in the teacher's beverage."

The school's officer then contacted the Newport News police department's Special Victims Unit, which conducted a thorough investigation, police said in a statement. On March 6, the two teens were each charged with one count of attempted poisoning, a class three felony.

The two students were removed, according to Price, and recommended for long-term suspensions. They were then referred to a disciplinary review committee, which involves three school board members, who upheld the long-term suspension.

"It's the board's philosophy that all students should be offered some sort of educational experience," Price said. "They are with students who have been convicted of or are facing charges."

The two students were sent to a separate community school in January, and will not be able to attend any other comprehensive school in the district during the police investigation, according to Price.

Price said that the 66-year-old teacher, who does not want to be named, was unaware that anything had been put in her tea until she was told, and missed a few days of teaching when she went to see her doctor.

"She did not require hospitalization. Aside from few days she's missed she's been teaching," Price said. "We don't believe a lot of it was ingested, and we believe it may have happened twice."

Hines Middle School does not stand out as a problem school in the district, and most of the problems at the school can be characterized as "preteen and teen drama," according to Price.

If the accused teens are found guilty they will have to remain in the community school, she said.

A class three felony carries a punishment of not less than five years nor more than 20 years in prison and a fine of not more than $100,000 in Virginia, according to police. It is unclear how the teens plead, as Newport News juvenile court does not share information pertaining to juveniles.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar092013

Man Arrested After Alleged Visine Poisoning 

ABC News(GRASS VALLEY, Calif.) -- A California woman is recovering after police say she was poisoned when her boyfriend put Visine eye drops in her drink.

Shayne Carpenter, a 27-year-old mechanic, was arrested by the Nevada County Sheriff's Office on Thursday in Grass Valley, Calif. and booked on poisoning and domestic violence charges. Police say after a fight with his girlfriend, Carpenter put eye drops in her drink causing her to feel ill.

Lt. Steve Tripp of the Nevada County Sheriff Department told ABC News’ affiliate KXTV that Carpenter's girlfriend became suspicious after finding texts on Carpenter's phone to his friends about the alleged prank gone wrong.

"He was making texts to his buddies that if 'She's going to be talking crap then she's going to be crapping,'" Tripp said.

The police say Carpenter's girlfriend hadn't been feeling well, and after seeing the texts contacted police.

As part of the investigation the police had Carpenter's girlfriend talk to him about the alleged poisoning over the phone.

"We got admissions from him over the phone, when he was admitting to her, that he had done this," Tripp said.

According to officials, Carpenter's girlfriend, whose name has not been released by police, was treated in the hospital and released.

Carpenter was released from jail Friday after posting a $25,000 bail.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan122013

Poisoned Lottery Winner’s Family Knew Something Wasn't Right, Nephew Says

Hemera/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Urooj Khan had just brought home his $425,000 lottery check when he unexpectedly died the following day. Now, certain members of Khan's family are speaking publicly about the mystery -- and his nephew told ABC News they knew something was not right.

"He was a healthy guy, you know?" said the nephew, Minhaj Khan said. "He worked so hard. He was always going about his business and, the thing is: After he won the lottery and the next day later he passes away -- it's awkward. It raises some eyebrows."

The medical examiner initially ruled Urooj Khan, 46, an immigrant from India who owned dry-cleaning businesses in Chicago, died July 20, 2012, of natural causes. But after a family member demanded more tests, authorities in November found a lethal amount of cyanide in his blood, turning the case into a homicide investigation.

"When we found out there was cyanide in his blood after the extensive toxicology reports, we had to believe that ... somebody had to kill him," Minhaj Khan said. "It had to happen, because where can you get cyanide?"

Authorities could be one step closer to learning what happened to Urooj Khan. A judge Friday approved an order to exhume his body at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago as early as Thursday to perform further tests.

Moments after the court hearing, Urooj Khan's sister, Meraj Khan, remembered her brother as the kind of person who would've shared his jackpot with anyone. Speaking at the Cook County Courthouse, she hoped the exhumation would help the investigation.

"It's very hard because I wanted my brother to rest in peace, but then we have to have justice served," she said, according to ABC News station WLS in Chicago. "So if that's what it takes for him to bring justice and peace, then that's what needs to be done."

Khan reportedly did not have a will. With the investigation moving forward, his family is waging a legal fight against his widow, Shabana Ansari, 32, over more than $1 million, including Urooj Khan's lottery winnings, as well as his business and real estate holdings.

Khan's brother filed a petition Wednesday to a judge asking Citibank to release information about Khan's assets to "ultimately ensure" that [Khan's] minor daughter from a prior marriage "receives her proper share."

Ansari may have tried to cash the jackpot check after Khan's death, according to court documents, which also showed Urooj Khan's family is questioning if the couple was ever even legally married.

Ansari, Urooj Khan's second wife, who still works at the couple's dry cleaning business, has insisted they were married legally.

She has told reporters the night before her husband died, she cooked a traditional Indian meal for him and their family, including Khan's daughter and Ansari's father. Not feeling well, Khan retired early, Ansari told the Chicago Sun-Times, falling asleep in a chair, waking up in agony, then collapsing in the middle of the night. She said she called 911.

"It has been an incredibly hard time," she told ABC News earlier this week. "We went from being the happiest the day we got the check. It was the best sleep I've had. And then the next day, everything was gone.

"I am cooperating with the investigation," Ansari told ABC News. "I want the truth to come out."

Ansari has not been named a suspect, but her attorney, Steven Kozicki, said investigators did question her for more than four hours.

"Absolutely, positively, you know, she had nothing to do with her husband's death," Kozicki said.

Despite the legal battle over the estate, Minhaj Khan said the family "can't really point fingers or we can't really speculate until a further investigation is done."

"When they are exhuming his body, I really hope the truth does come out, and our family finds some peace and we get to the bottom of this," he said. "Because everybody has to go one day, but the way that he died was not the way to go."

Urooj Khan won $1 million in a scratch-off Illinois Lottery game in June, though he elected to take the lump sum payout amounting to $425,000 after taxes. He said he planned to use the money to pay off his bills and mortgage, and make a contribution to St. Jude Children's Research Center.

Minhaj Khan remembered his uncle as that sort of giving person.

"He had a successful business, he was a great father, he was a great uncle to us and we knew him since the late '80s, since he came here [to the United States]," he said. "We lived with him. My kids used to play with him too, you know? I have two little girls. He was a really big family man and everybody loved him.

"He was the life of the party," he said, "always joking around, always joking with us and the family."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan112013

Poisoned Lottery Winner's Exhumation Approved

Hemera/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A judge has approved the exhumation of the Chicago lottery winner who died of cyanide poisoning.

Judge Susan Coleman of the Probate Division of the Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois Friday approved the county medical examiner's request to exhume the body of Urooj Khan at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

Khan, 46, died July 20, 2012, from what was initially believed to be natural causes. But a family member whose identity has yet to be revealed asked the medical examiner's office to re-examine the cause of death, which was subsequently determined to be cyanide poisoning.

The office did so by retesting fluid samples that had been taken from Khan's body, including tests for cyanide and strychnine.

In explaining the request for exhumation, Chief Medical Examiner Stephen Cina has said, "If or when this goes to court, it would be nice to have all the data possible."

The Chicago businessman had won a $1 million lottery jackpot -- before taxes -- the month before he died.

In the latest legal twist, Khan's brother filed a petition Wednesday to a judge asking Citibank to release information about Khan's assets to "ultimately ensure" that [Khan's] minor daughter "receives her proper share." Khan reportedly did not have a will.

He left behind a widow, Shabana Ansari, 32, and a teenage daughter from his first marriage. Ansari and Khan reportedly married 12 years ago in India.

Authorities questioned Ansari in November and searched the home she shared with Khan. She and her attorney, Al Haroon Husain, say she had nothing to do with his death.

"It's sad that I lost my husband," she told ABC News. "I love him and I miss him. That's all I can say."

The siblings of the poisoned lottery winner have pursued legal action to protect their niece's share of her late father's estate. They also questioned whether he and Ansari were legally married, but Ansari's attorney said she has a marriage certificate from India that is valid in the United States.

ImTiaz Khan, 56, Khan's brother, and Meraj Khan, 37, their sister, had won a court order to freeze the lottery winnings after Ansari cashed the check.

Husain said Ansari cashed the lottery check after it was mailed to the home, which she did not request.

The lottery check, about $425,000 in cash, was issued July 19 by the Illinois Comptroller's Office, then mailed, according to Brad Hahn, spokesman for the Comptroller's Office. Hahn said it was cashed Aug. 15, nearly a month after Khan's death, but he did not know who cashed it.

The judge later approved Ansari's competing claim as an administrator of the estate.

"I don't care what they talk [sic]," Ansari told ABC News of what her in-laws are saying.

Ansari said she was married to Khan but declined to comment to ABC News about cashing the check after his death.

Meraj Khan filed in September to become the legal guardian of her niece. After the judge asked the 17-year old daughter with whom she wished to live, she chose her aunt and has been there since November, Husain said.

Neither sibling has petitioned to obtain a share of the dead man's estate, which is estimated to be $1.2 million in lottery winnings, real estate, Khan's laundry business and automobiles.

Neither the attorney for ImTiaz Khan nor the two siblings has responded to requests for comment.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan082013

Body of Lotto Winner Who Died of Cyanide Poisoning to Be Exhumed

Ann Cutting/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- The body of the $1 million Chicago lottery winner who died of cyanide poisoning will be exhumed within the next two weeks, said Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina.

The exhumation is needed to complete the investigation into Urooj Khan's death, which the medical examiner ruled a homicide last November.

Last June, Khan, 46, won $1 million in a scratch-off Illinois Lottery game, and said he planned to use the money to pay off his bills and mortgage, and make a contribution to St. Jude Children's Research Center.

But Khan died unexpectedly on July 20. The suddenness and unexpectedness of Khan's death brought it to the attention of the Cook County medical examiner.

Because there were no signs of foul play or trauma, the medical examiner's office initially attributed the death to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which covers heart attacks, stroke or ruptured aneurysms. An external exam -- not an autopsy -- was performed and toxicology reports indicated no presence of drugs or carbon monoxide.

Khan was buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

But several days after the death certificate was issued, a family member called and requested that the medical examiner's office look further into Khan's death, said Cina.

"In response to the family member's concern, the ME's office ordered comprehensive toxicological testing, including screens for cyanide and strychnine," according to a statement from the Office of the Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

"As a matter of routine, we take body fluid samples, even with our external exams: urine, blood and bitreous fluid from the eye. We keep them for a certain period of time," said Cina. "Tests for cyanide and strychnine were run on the blood samples after the relative expressed concern of foul play. These are not routine tests."

Cina said he could not disclose the identity of the family member or other details of the phone call because of the ongoing investigation.

"If or when this goes to court, it would be nice to have all the data possible," Cina said about the exhumation.

Cina said when the final toxicology results came back late last November, they showed a lethal level of cyanide, which led to the homicide investigation.

Melissa Stratton, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department, confirmed it had been working closely with the medical examiner's office.

Khan is survived by his wife, Shabana Ansari, 32, and a teenage daughter. The family owned three dry-cleaning businesses in Chicago.

Ansari told the Chicago Tribune that Khan was "the best husband on the entire planet," and "extraordinary, nice, kind and lovable."

Ansari could not be reached by ABC News for comment.

The police are not confirming whether Khan's lottery winnings played a part in the homicide.

When asked why cyanide, a chemical asphyxiant that binds to red blood cells and prevents the entry of oxygen, was not found in the initial examination of Khan's body, Cina said, "Quite frankly, it's unusual as a cause of death, so it's not at the top of your mind."

He said about 50 percent of people can smell cyanide, but it is more noticeable when the body is opened up.

Sometimes the coloring of blood changes with cyanide poisoning after death, becoming "more reddish than purple," he said.

"In this case that wasn't particularly striking," Cina said, describing the first examination of Khan's body.

"It strangles your red blood cells at a biochemical level," he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan072013

Body of Lotto Winner Who Died of Cyanide Poisoning Likely to Be Exhumed

Ann Cutting/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- The body of a $1 million lottery jackpot winner will likely be exhumed from Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago, according to the Cook County medical examiner, who determined that the winner died of cyanide poisoning.

Last June Urooj Khan, 46, won $1 million in a scratch-off lottery game, or $425,000 after taxes, but he died unexpectedly on July 20. Since there were no signs of foul play or any cause for suspicion, his death was attributed to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which covers heart attacks, stroke or ruptured aneurysm.

But a few days after the death certificate was issued, a family member called the medical examiner's office and asked that the death be investigated, said Dr. Stephen Cina, Cook County's chief medical examiner. Cina said he could not disclose the identity of the family member because of the ongoing investigation.

"We are in discussion with the state attorney about whether we are going to do an exhumation. Right now, we are leaning in that direction. We have a cause and matter of death on the books, and we're comfortable with that," Cina told ABC News. "If or when this goes to court, it would be nice to have all the data possible."

Cina said the final toxicology results came back in late November showing a lethal level of cyanide, which led to the homicide investigation. Melissa Stratton, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department, confirmed a murder investigation had been "under way," and that the police department had been working closely with the medical examiner's office.

Khan is survived by his wife, Shabana Ansari, 32, and teenage daughter. The family owned three dry-cleaning businesses in Chicago.

Ansari told the Chicago Tribune that Khan was "the best husband on the entire planet" and "extraordinary, nice, kind and lovable."

Ansari could not be reached by ABC News for comment.

The police are not confirming whether Khan's lottery winnings played a part in the homicide.

When asked why cyanide, a chemical asphyxiant that binds to red blood cells and prevents the entry of oxygen, was not found in the initial examination of Khan's body, Cina said, "Quite frankly, it's unusual as a cause of death, so it's not at the top of your mind."

He said about 50 percent of people can smell cyanide, but it is more noticeable when the body is opened up.

Sometimes the coloring of blood changes with cyanide poisoning after death, becoming "more reddish than purple," he said.

"In this case that wasn't particularly striking," Cina said, describing the first examination of Khan's body.

"It strangles your red blood cells at a biochemical level," he said.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio