Poisoned wife out of hospital

Thursday, March 23, 2006

BONNE TERRE, Mo. -- An alleged poisoning plot by an eastern Missouri woman who wanted to steal her neighbor's husband could have started months ago, according the man whose wife is recovering from a potentially lethal dose of sodium nitrite.

Angie Hausler, 30, was allegedly poisoned over the weekend by a neighbor who baby-sat for her in Bonne Terre.

Hausler was in stable condition and has been released from the hospital, a spokeswoman for St. John's Mercy in St. Louis said Wednesday.

"My wife has been sick for quite some time, and it started when Tina started hanging out here," Brian Hausler told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Tina Vazquez, 33, of Bonne Terre, was charged with first-degree assault this week in the alleged poisoning. Vazquez is in jail on $50,000 bond and her first court appearance is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday.

Brian Hausler said he believes that Vazquez was poisoning his wife for months with fountain drinks that she frequently brought her for lunch.

Vazquez told authorities she wanted to hospitalize Hausler so she could get closer to Brian Hausler, according to court documents.

The Hauslers moved from St. Louis to the small town, about 60 miles south, in 2004 and befriended Vazquez, a neighbor and a mother of two.

After Vazquez separated from her husband in December, she began spending more time at the Hausler home, and that's when Angie Hausler became ill, Brian Hausler said.

According to a probable cause statement, Vazquez gave Angie Hausler the toxin on Saturday and told her it was an antibiotic she could take for her illness.

Vazquez admitted to switching the substance inside the capsules with sodium nitrite, court documents said. The potentially lethal chemical is used to cure meat and investigators believe she got it from her job at a meat company.

Vazquez confessed to Brian Hausler when he questioned her about the pills after his wife was rushed to a hospital, said St. Francois County Lt. Greg Armstrong.

Vazquez was arrested on Sunday after Brian Hausler contacted authorities.

St. Francois County Prosecutor Wendy Wexler-Horn said she did not charge Vazquez with attempted murder because it would be harder to prove in court. She said Vazquez could still face life in prison with the first-degree assault charge.

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