Woman in cyanide-poisoning case dies

October 31, 2008 5:29:39 PM PDT
Police say a Long Island woman has died after her estranged husband was accused of sprinkling cyanide in her coffee. Suffolk County police say Maureen Steeves died Friday at a hospital, where she had been under intensive care since falling ill Oct. 18.

A spokesman for prosecutors says a grand jury will consider upgrading the charges against David A. Steeves in light of her death. The 43-year-old Center Moriches man has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and is being held without bail.

Defense lawyer Joseph Hanshe (HAN'-shee) says Steeves "absolutely, emphatically denies" poisoning his 41-year-old wife with potassium cyanide and has been devastated by her sickness.

Hanshe says the couple had separated after 16 years of marriage. Their two teenaged children are in a relative's care.

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