Suspect says not guilty to mailing cyanide in man's suicide

AP News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2016 6:59 PM

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A U.S. suspect pleaded not guilty Tuesday to mailing cyanide to an Englishman who killed himself.

Federal investigators say Sidney Kilmartin of Windham, Maine, advertised and mailed a substance he claimed was cyanide to several suicidal people. The substance was actually Epsom salt.

But prosecutors say he mailed the real thing to Andrew Denton of Hull, England, to keep him from telling investigators about his moneymaking scheme. Denton, 49, used the cyanide to take his life.

Kilmartin pleaded not guilty to federal charges of mailing injurious articles resulting in death, wire fraud, mail fraud, witness tampering and witness retaliation. He had previously pleaded not guilty to charges in Denton's suicide but those charges were superseded by the latest counts.

Kilmartin has a history of mental illness. He was previously committed to a psychiatric facility in 2008 after he was found not criminally responsible by reason of insanity for entering a man's apartment and attacking him while he slept. He was released in 2011.

An affidavit by a U.S. postal inspector said Kilmartin obtained the cyanide by posing as a jeweler to persuade a California distributor to ship him 100 grams of the industrial-grade chemical for $127.56.

Kilmartin's attorney didn't immediately respond to a call seeking comment.