Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

CANBERRA, Australia — The host of a weekend household lunch at her Australian nation house was charged Thursday with murdering her ex-husband’s dad and mom and aunt with toxic mushrooms and making an attempt to homicide a fourth visitor, police mentioned.

Police arrested Erin Patterson, 49, at her house within the Victoria state city of Leongatha, the place her former husband’s dad and mom, Gail and Don Patterson, each 70, Gail Patterson’s sister Heather Wilkinson, 66, and Wilkinson’s husband, Ian Wilkinson, 68, have been invited for lunch on July 29.

All 4 company have been hospitalized the following day, and solely Ian Wilkinson survived.

Patterson has publicly denied any wrongdoing.

“I’m devastated. I cherished them. I can’t consider that this has occurred and I’m so sorry,” she tearfully informed reporters two days after the third loss of life.

Patterson was additionally charged with three counts of making an attempt to homicide her ex-husband, Simon Patterson, 48, who grew to become ailing after consuming three meals in 2021 and 2022, a police assertion mentioned. He didn’t attend the July lunch.

Police say the signs the 4 members of the family who did attend skilled have been according to poisoning from wild Amanita phalloides, often called loss of life cap mushrooms.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that Patterson wrote in a press release that she cooked a beef Wellington steak dish for the lunch utilizing mushrooms purchased from a serious grocery store chain and dried mushrooms from an Asian grocery retailer.

She wrote that she additionally ate the meal and later had abdomen pains and diarrhea.

Ian Wilkinson, a Baptist pastor, was launched from a hospital in late September and police say he continues to get better.

Homicide in Victoria carries a possible most sentence of 25 years in jail. Patterson was anticipated to stay in police custody till she seems in an area courtroom on Friday, when she will probably apply to be launched on bail.

Bail requests for defendants charged with homicide are often referred to the next courtroom.

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