Arsenic Case Against Wife Dismissed
Matter Dropped After Husband Refuses To Testify
A story which began almost four months ago when a 30-year-old Chelsea woman admitted she had been spiking her husband’s beer with arsenic for four years, ended yesterday when charges against her were dismissed.
Mrs. Lucy Wireman of Chelsea was freed and her $1,000 bond returned after Acting Municipal Court Judge Stanley G. Thayer ruled there was “no evidence of a crime having been committed.”
Mrs. Wireman was arrested last May 17 after she signed a statement admitting that since 1953 she had been putting rat poison containing arsenic into beer which her husband, Oron Wireman, 36, drank at home. She told Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Roy Tice at the time that she used the arsenic in an attempt to “cure” her husband of “his drinking habit.”
Charged With Crime
In a warrant filed against Mrs. Wireman at the time, she was charged with “administering poison with intent to kill or injure.”
In ordering the charge dismissed yesterday afternoon, Judge Thayer upheld two “privileges” invoked last June 28 by defense attorneys for Mrs. Wireman.
James C. Hendley and William Rademacher of Chelsea, the defense counsel, contended that a husband cannot be made to testify against his wife and a medical doctor cannot testify concerning a patient’s condition or treatment without the patient’s permission.
Wireman repeatedly had said he would not testify against his wife. The prosecution had hoped to call Wireman and several physicians who had treated the Chelsea man during his five-week stay last spring at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.
The defense attorneys and Second Assistant Prosecutor William F. Delhey last July submitted written briefs on their respective stands on the question of “privileges” in the case. Yesterday’s municipal court session was for the purpose of oral arguments on the briefs and for a ruling on them.
Prosecutor Delhey maintained yesterday there were exceptions to the husband-wife, physician-patient “privilege” relationship but Judge Thayer ruler in favor of the defense.
Wireman was called to the witness stand twice during yesterday’s session—once to declare he did not wish to testify against his wife and the second time to say he did not wish the doctors who treated him last April to testify.
Prosecutor Delhey said after the hearing that it is not known at this time if an appeal of Judge Thayer’s ruling will be made. Mr. and Mrs. Wireman, who have been living together since his release from the hospital and her release from police custody last May 18, left the courtroom together.