Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Prosecutor: Troy woman tried to poison husband, son with milkshakes

Associated Press

TROY -- A woman who police say tried to kill her husband and teenage son by offering them milkshakes laced with lethal doses of prescription medication has been charged in the case.

A warrant for Mary Ellen Cannon was signed Monday, Oakland County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Deborah Carley said. Cannon was expected to face five felony counts, including attempted murder and poisoning.

Police said a motive was unclear.

If convicted, the 46-year-old Troy resident could be sentenced to up to life in prison.

Carley said that Cannon tried to kill her 57-year-old husband, Richard Shaw, and 13-year-old son, Ian Shaw, on Oct. 26. Authorities say Cannon purchased one chocolate and one strawberry milkshake from a McDonald's two days earlier, put them in a freezer and later gave them to her husband and son.

Carley said Richard Shaw collapsed and Ian Shaw later became ill. The boy was hospitalized for three days, and the husband, who went into a coma but later recovered, was hospitalized for 11 days.

Authorities said Cannon apparently ground up her own medication for the milkshakes.

Toxicology reports indicated that lethal doses of prescription medications prescribed for sleep disorders and panic attacks, regulating blood pressure and easing pain were found in the milkshakes.

The initial report was that the husband had the flu and was unable to wake up, but paramedics doubted the wife's explanation as they transported the two people to a hospital.

"As the story progressed, and they took the history, they became a little suspicious," Troy police Lt. Gerry Scherlinck said.

Cannon was being held at the Oakland County Jail.