COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man died after he mistakenly drank herbicide that was stored in a soft drink bottle he bought from two men, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
The men, Kenneth M. Beauford and Damon Lamonte Kelly, were arrested last month, Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a news release.
Prosecutors said Kelly stole a restricted herbicide containing a highly toxic weed killer available only to commercially licensed users and Beauford put it in plastic soft drink bottles. Beauford sold the herbicide to two people in St. Stephen, and a buyer mistook the herbicide for a beverage, drank it and died in June, Wilson said.
Beauford is charged with involuntary manslaughter, and Kelly faces a petty larceny charge. Court records listed no attorneys for the men. Both men are also accused of violating the Pesticide Control Act.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified the toxic weed killer paraquat as "restricted use," meaning that it can be used only by people who are licensed applicators. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the form of paraquat marketed in the United States has a blue dye to keep it from being confused with beverages, a sharp odor and an added agent to cause vomiting if someone drinks it.
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