Doctor poisons lover's coffee

Charged with aggravated assault of a family member

US - A breast cancer physician charged with spiking her lover's coffee with a compound used in antifreeze was obsessed with the man and even had a private investigator follow him, prosecutors said in opening statements at her trial on Monday.

Dr Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo, 43, is charged with aggravated assault of a family member, which also covers domestic violence in dating relationships, for allegedly spiking Dr George Blumenschein's coffee in January 2013.

"This case is about a woman who had an attraction, which wound up with a rejection and it led to an absolute obsession with George Blumenschein," Assistant Harris County District Attorney Justin Keiter said.

Gonzalez-Angulo and Blumenschein, both oncologists with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, had been in an affair for two years when she asked him to try a coffee blend during a rendezvous at her home, a criminal complaint said.

She is accused of spiking the coffee with ethylene glycol, which is commonly found in antifreeze and in science labs.

Blumenschein told investigators that four hours after he drank two sweet-tasting cups of coffee he began to experience slurred speech, and a loss of balance and some motor skills.

Blumenschein was admitted to the emergency room that night and found to have central nervous system damage, cardiopulmonary complications and renal failure. He survived after undergoing dialysis treatments.

A doctor called police after seeing a hazy quality in Blumenschein's urine bag and upon examination, finding crystals consistent with ethylene glycol poisoning, prosecutors said.

An attorney for Gonzalez-Angulo told jurors his client was innocent of the charges and it has not been proven that Blumenschein was poisoned by ethylene glycol.

The doctors and experts prosecutors plan to present "are doing little more than guesswork," said Andy Drumheller, who represents Gonzalez-Angulo.

"We don't guess people into felony convictions," he said.

Drumheller said his client tried but was unable to convince Blumenschein to go to the emergency room when he started showing signs of illness.

Gonzalez-Angulo would face five to 99 years in prison if convicted.

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