West Richland Man Allegedly Poisoned By Ex-Wife
A West Richland man's ex-wife is charged with allegedly putting pesticide poison in a coffee water reservoir, and tampering with different toothbrushes belonging to the man, his new girlfriend and the estranged couple's children.
Chelsea B. Schmitt must appear in Benton County Superior Court February 23rd to answer charges of second-degree assault with domestic violence, first-degree malicious mischief and residential burglary with domestic violence.
Schmitt reportedly broke in to her former West Richland home last June while her husband was out of town for the weekend with his new girlfriend. She was given permission to access a utility trailer outside the home, but she allegedly did much more.
When the victim came home, he found it trashed with multiple items missing. His girlfriend's SUV was also smashed with a baseball bat, and sugar and liquid soap were poured into the gas tank. His locked shop was forced open and pesticide chemicals that were kept on a top shelf were now on the shop floor and one of the cans was empty.
The next day he filed a petition for a domestic violence protection order for himself and his three sons.
The following day he had to be driven to the hospital and treated when he became ill after taking a couple of gulps of his morning coffee. Hospital staff drew blood and urine samples and law enforcement was notified about the incident.
West Richland police and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab have determined the chemicals found in the home were used in the coffee maker and on the toothbrushes.
Schmitt has also admitted taking several items, including her husband's golf clubs and a laptop computer. Her son added the he helped remove a large picture over the fireplace, a television with stand and a small dresser, and that he saw his mother get some items from the kitchen. The victim also noticed money and his spare keys were missing and he said his ex-wife stole hard drives and all his passwords to personal accounts. In court documents the victim wrote, "She has continued to threaten me and I fear her coming to the house while my children are there and doing something else violent."
Surveillance footage from a storage unit facility shows Schmitt unloading property from an SUV and trailer five times a couple of days after the alleged poisoning. While she admits to taking her husband's property, she claims to have no knowledge of the tainted coffee water nor the pesticides.