CHARLESTON — A woman accused of poisoning her now-ex-husband’s wine with dish soap pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Thursday.
Brandis R. Paige, 39, entered the plea to a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct. The count accused her of an act that “endangered the safety” of Douglas M. Paige on Oct. 6 of last year.
Charges originally filed in the case included aggravated battery, a felony offense, but that was dismissed with the agreement that was reached. A misdemeanor domestic battery charge was also dismissed and the agreement called for a sentence of a year of conditional discharge.
Paige, for whom records list addresses of an apartment at 2506 Buxton Drive, Mattoon, and in Effingham, admitted putting the soap in her husband’s wine and said she did it because of an argument about their pending divorce, according to case records.
The agreement that was reached Thursday was partly because the soap wasn’t actually toxic and had no long-term effect on Douglas Paige’s health, said Public Defender Lonnie Lutz, who represented Paige.
Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Bucher, who prosecuted, wasn’t available for comment after Thursday’s hearing.
Conditional discharge is a form of supervision similar to probation but with fewer restrictions.
Terms of the sentence that Circuit Judge Mitchell Shick imposed based on the agreement included $325 in fines. The judge also included six months in jail but ordered it stayed, meaning Paige won’t have to serve it now but some or all of it could be ordered later if she violates any of her sentence’s requirements.
Court records show that the couple’s divorce was finalized in March.
The case’s records say police first questioned Douglas Paige at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, and he said he became ill after taking a few sips of wine he poured because he had trouble sleeping.
An ambulance employee and the Paiges’ son later both told police they heard Paige say she put the soap in the wine, the records also say. Paige also admitted she intentionally put the soap in the wine because she wanted to “wash out” her husband’s mouth following the argument, the records show.
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