Australian woman who blamed Asian grocer for killer mushrooms charged

Australian woman who blamed Asian grocer for killer mushrooms chargedAustralian woman who blamed Asian grocer for killer mushrooms charged
via 7NEWS Australia, The Australian
Carl Samson
November 2, 2023
The woman who pointed at an Asian grocer as a source of toxic mushrooms that allegedly killed three and put one in critical condition in Victoria, Australia, has been arrested and charged with murder.
Catch up: Erin Patterson, 49, served beef wellington that contained the mushrooms for lunch in her home in Leongatha on July 29. Days later, her in-laws, Don and Gail Patterson, both 70, and Gail’s sister, Heather Wilkinson, 66, died. Meanwhile, Heather’s husband, Ian Wilkinson, ended up critically ill and spent two months at a hospital.
The four diners suffered symptoms consistent with wild death cap mushroom poisoning, according to police. In her statement in August, Patterson claimed that she combined button mushrooms from a major supermarket and dried, hand-labeled mushrooms from an Asian grocer she had purchased three months prior. She also reported having stomach pains and being hospitalized.
Charges: Patterson was charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder on Thursday. Two of the attempted murder charges stem from the same incident; her ex-husband, Simon Patterson, was also invited to the lunch but declined. Meanwhile, the other three attempted murder charges are reportedly linked to similar prior incidents involving Simon between 2021 and 2022.
What’s next: Patterson in her statement maintained her innocence, saying she had “absolutely no reason to hurt these people, whom I loved.” She is expected to remain in custody until Friday, when she can apply to be released on bail.
Murder in the state of Victoria carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
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