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June 20, 2014

Judges' wife admits she poisoned him

JEFFERSON, Ohio — An Ohio grandmother has pleaded guilty to felonious assault of her  husband, a prominent local judge, by lacing his glass of wine with antifreeze before he turned in for the night.

Carla Hague, 71, a retired nurse, admitted guilt Wednesday in a plea bargain with prosecutors. The original charge of  attempted murder was dropped. She was sentenced to two years in prison, with eligibility for release at six months served.

"I made a terrible decision to put a chemical in a drink that my husband would consume,"  she told the court. "I deeply regret everything and I beg the forgiveness of my husband, children and grandchildren."

Judge Charles Hague consented to the plea bargain, saying he had "no anger or animosity. I am beyond that. I'm glad to have this huge black spot behind us. I hope Carla can get on with her life as we are going to get on with ours."

Prosecutors said Mrs. Hauge poured antifreeze into her husband's wine glass nine months ago, then watched him consume the alcohol and quickly become ill. They said she called the coulple's son to help her put the judge in bed.

But when the son arrived, prosecutors added, he could see his father was seriously ill and called 911. He was flown to a nearby Cleveland hospital for emergency care. He was hospitalized for several days but survived the poisoning.

The wife originally pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and contaminating a substance for human consumption. She said she was only trying to stop her husband from drinking because he suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, a severe respiratory condition.

Kirsten Casper, the youngest of the couple's three adult children, testified at the plea bargain hearing that she loved both her mother and father, and that neither were bad people.

"Oviously," she said, "this is not just about an antifreeze issue. We've had a dysfunctional family for many years."

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Details for this story provided by the Ashtabula, Ohio, Star Beacon

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