Woman, 84, gets new trial in poisoning of son's girlfriend

AP News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2016 8:53 AM

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania woman convicted of poisoning her son's girlfriend with antifreeze will get a new trial.

Eighty-four-year-old Helen Galli was sentenced in October 2013 to 5½ to 12 years in prison. A Luzerne County jury had convicted her of aggravated assault and reckless endangering.

Prosecutors say the woman from Wyoming borough gave the girlfriend poisoned juice in 2010 because she didn't want the girlfriend getting between her and her son, who'd just signed a million-dollar natural gas lease. The girlfriend was hospitalized for weeks.

A county judge says Galli's defense attorney was ineffective for not objecting to the victim's testimony that her boyfriend said, "My mother said, 'Drink this, it will make you feel better'" before handing her an antifreeze-laced drink. The judge says the statement was hearsay.