Angry Wife Should Not Have Faced Chemical Weapons Charge, Lawyer Says

A Pennsylvania woman should not have been convicted of trying to use a chemical weapon against her husband's mistress, her lawyer said yesterday during an appeals hearing (see GSN, June 4, 2008).

The 1999 federal chemical-weapon statute "was intended to deal with a rogue state, intended to deal with terrorists. It wasn't intended to deal with a housewife," said defense attorney Robert Goldman.

Carol Anne Bond, 37, acknowledged that she applied potassium dichromate taken from her employer, Rohm & Haas, to the front door handle and car tail pipe of her romantic rival. While the material can be lethal if ingested, Myrlinda Haynes suffered no harm.

Bond pleaded guilty and was sentenced last year to six years in prison. She received an augmented sentence for using her expertise as a laboratory technician to carry out the crime.

Goldman said that his client's background as a microbiologist did not make her an expert in the use of chemicals.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Shapiro defended the use of the chemical law in this case, but could not say whether Bond would have been tried at the federal level if there was no such statute.

There was no immediate indication from three judges of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on when a ruling would be made in the case (Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press/Washington Post, March 23).

March 24, 2009
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A Pennsylvania woman should not have been convicted of trying to use a chemical weapon against her husband's mistress, her lawyer said yesterday during an appeals hearing (see GSN, June 4, 2008).