Woman Enters Not Guilty Plea in Toxic Mushroom Case

Woman Enters Not Guilty Plea in Toxic Mushroom Case

(RepublicanView.org) – A woman accused of killing and injuring her then-husband’s relatives with poison is pleading not guilty.

49-year-old Erin Patterson of Australia is facing several charges related to murder and attempted murder. Officials claim that she gave toxic mushrooms to a few of her husband’s relatives in July 2023 while they were having lunch together at Erin’s home. Don Patterson, 70, and his wife, Gail, were both hospitalized a few days before dying. They began to feel ill later that night and decided to go to the hospital the next morning. Gail’s 66-year-old sister, Heather Wilkinson, also died in the hospital.

She also faces other charges for allegedly attempting to murder her husband, Simon Patterson, and Ian, Wilkinson’s husband. Simon was invited to the lunch but could not attend. Ian Wilkinson did attend but survived after spending several weeks in a hospital. He spent much of that time waiting for a new liver. Erin Patterson is also accused of trying to kill her husband on three other occasions.

According to authorities, each of the victims had symptoms that are common from amanita phalloide poisoning. The native Australian mushroom looks very similar to edible types of mushrooms. They are often called death cap mushrooms.

The couple had already divorced with Erin getting primary custody of their two children. They eventually decided to sell their family home before Erin purchased the house in which her ex-husband’s relatives would be poisoned. One contractor that was hired to prepare their former home for the market said he had to remove disturbing graffiti from one wall. According to the contractor, it featured several depictions of death, leading him to nickname it the “death wall.”

Patterson insists she is innocent and did not know the mushrooms were poisonous. She said she loved her husband’s family and had no reason to kill them. She also said that she has been devastated by their deaths. She was arrested in November 2023 and has since refused four opportunities to apply for bail.

She could spend the rest of her life in prison if convicted.

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