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Aug 5 10 10:26 PM

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2008 - June 5 - Evening shift K-9 officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
 
           Deputy Jonathan Allen and his canine partner are at work when he receives
           a phone call from his wife, Lisa (42).

                    From Douglas County sheriff investigator's statement

 Jonathan Allen "It was unusual when she called me at work to say she'd made me
                          spaghetti and salad for dinner. I usually just ate whatever my wife
                          had made for herself and our daughter (who was 3 at the time).
 
                          As we began dinner, I found it odd when our daughter grabbed
                          an olive from REDACTED plate, and Lisa took the olive from
                          her and wouldn't let her eat it and put her to bed.
 
                          This was also unusual, because it's customary for her (child)
                          to eat from both of our dinner plates."
                         
                          I noticed Lisa, who normally served iceberg lettuce, had made
                          a salad of romaine lettuce mixed with unusual leaves with
                          serrated edges. The leaves tasted bitter to me and I didn't 
                          finish the salad. 
 
                          Lisa told me it was a "Spring Mix" and I assumed it contained
                          another of those trendy herbs that people use to liven up their
                          greensI checked the refrigerator for bags of the unusual leaves
                          and didn't find any.

                          As I went out onto the backyard deck that night to check on
                          my (canine) partner, I noticed two potted plants on the bbq
                          with the label "foxglove." The plant, with ornmanetal bell
                          shaped flowers had leaves with the telltale serrated edges,
                          just like the ones in my salad."
 
                          That night, I checked our home computer's Internet browser
                          history and found someone had been looking up information
                          about foxglove and how the foxglove plant is toxic to humans,
                          and can cause heart problems. I suspected Lisa had done the
                          research.
        

                         "Someone had visited a Wikipedia webpage explaining that
                          foxglove produces the heart medication digitalis and its toxic
                          chemicals can be deadly. The drug can make an individual's 
                          heart beat slow down -- or race. The entire plant is toxic

                          (including the roots and seeds), although the leaves of the
                          upper stem are particularly potent, with just a nibble being
                          enough to potentially cause death," the Wikipedia site 
                          warns. Thus, the digitalis has earned several more sinister
                          names: Dead Man’s Bells, and Witches’ Gloves," the website
                          states."
         

                         About an hour after dinner, I began having heart palpitations and
                         stomach cramps and was wheezing.

Deputy Allen did the smart thing and met with a Douglas County Sheriff's Investigator
the next day and explained his suspicions. He was understandably upset.
 
                         From Douglas County sheriff investigator's statement
 
                         "He (Allen) wept and was apprehensive as he explained that
                          he suspected his wife had tried to poison him.
 
Deputy Allen provided the investigator with one of the serrated leaves he'd saved
from the salad, photographs of foxglove plants and the computer's
Internet browsing
history.  Afterwards, he went to the hospital, with severe stomach cramps and his
heart speeding wildly. Jonathan Allen's stomach was pumped and the contents
analyzed.
 
                                    HOSPITAL VISIT
 
                        Deputy Allen proceeded to a Littleton, Colorado hospital. Tests
                        showed he had digitalis, a chemical from the foxglove, in his system.
      
 
                                    ARREST
 
                      Sheriff's Investigators arrest Lisa Leigh Allen.
 
  Charges: Premeditated First-degree Attempted Murder,
                Domestic Violence and 2 counts of Assault   
                with a deadly weapon.

 
 
             From Douglas County sheriff investigator's statement
 
Lisa Allen "It was a special meal for us, we'd argued the night before
                 and he was still angry with me when he left for work the
                 next morning.
                
                  We'd been having marital problems for several years.
                   I've been taking Prozac for depression."
 
 
 Jonathan Allen "We'd been trying to have another baby and Lisa had a
                           miscarriage the previous fall."

 
 Lisa Allen "While Jonathan was at work, I researched poisonous plants
                  on the Internet. I wanted to buy my sister a plant, and wanted
                  to make sure I didn't buy a poisonous plant.
 
                  I'd bought a plant at a nursery on Federal Boulevard before
                  coming home to make the spaghetti and salad dinner that
                  night."
          
The Detective shows Lisa Allen photographs of the two foxglove plants that

were on the Allen's deck.
 
 Lisa Allen  "I've never seen them before."
 
Investigators check with Wilmore Nursery in Littleton, Co. The Assistant
Manager provides them with a receipt which showed Lisa Allen had
purchased the foxglove plants at that location.
 
Leah Crews (Asst. Manager, Wilmore Nursery)
 
            "She was very interested in how big the (foxglove) leaves were and
            how big the roots were."

 
Investigators provide samples of garbage from the Allen home. Leah Crews
examines the garbage and identifies parts of foxglove plants.
 
   Leah Crews "In her trash, she had a lot of different plants in there. I'm
                         assuming she had been gardening for some time. You

                         know, I'm glad, I could help them ID the plant, and
                         everything. Normally, I don't get cases like that. I've
                         helped in cases where pets have accidentally 
                         ingested poisonous plants. But I've never had a case

                         where it was maybe intentional." 
 
Needless to say, Deputy Allen did not return to the family home after leaving
the hospital.

 
                                    DIVORCE

Lisa Allen files for divorce a few weeks after she is arrested.The resolution 
of the divorce/custody is postponed until after her sentencing.


                                    PLEA DEAL
 
2010 - April 28 - Lisa Leigh Allen pleads Guilty to Felony Assault
                         for drugging a victim.
 
                         The District Attorney dismisses the more serious charges.
 
        
  Scott Robinson (Lisa Allen's attorney) "Although Lisa Allen pleaded guilty,

                                                   she did not admit to poisoning her husband."
 
She agreed to a plea deal in order to avoid a salacious trial, her attorney said.

"(It) would've included adultery allegations, skullduggery and espionage," Robinson said. "It would've been a fiasco."
 
 
                         Sentencing is set for May 14.
                   
                                  HUSBAND "FORGIVES" WIFE FOR POISONING
 
Jonathan Allen "I forgive Lisa."
 
A journalist asks "Why do you forgive her?"
 
Jonathan Allen "Cause I'm supposed to and holding back hate doesn't
                          help anything."
 
                         "It's been tough. It's been rough. It's definitely created
                          empathy in my heart for other victims. And it's affected
                          how thorough I am when I do my job. And I want to make
                          sure I do it to the best of my ability."

                          It's also given me a new appreciation for the old saying: 
                          "Love your neighbor as yourself. Don't do that kind of
                           thing, you know."

 
                                     SENTENCING HEARING
 
          Douglas County District Judge Vincent R. White presiding.
 
 
Jonathan Allen testifies before the Judge

Jonathan Allen was unusual for his wife to be so interested in his eating habits
                         "She told me, 'Make sure you eat your greens. You need 'em,'"   

                          I had no idea what I was coming into.

                          "I couldn't fathom that my wife was trying to kill me. 
 
                           Lisa calmly lay in bed that night as I writhed in pain from the poison.

                           I went to bed and laid next to her. And she asked me several times
                           how I was feeling. She said, 'It's probably just stress from your job.'"
 
                           "I was the victim of a wife who had physically attacked me.
 
                                    Jonathan Allen cries on the stand.

                           "My daughter crawled into my lap as I walked into this trap. As I put
                           my head into the noose, my daughter was there as I was supposed
                           to be eating that salad that would kill me. She tried to eat an olive off
                           my plate before Lisa stopped her. She could have been poisoned."
 
                          "Lisa had also bought Ricin, a deadly poison found in castor beans.

                           Our money went to pay for her poison."
 
 
Prosecutor Bryan Garrett "This was a premeditated crime, not a crime of passion
                                        or impulse. First, she had to research exactly what kind
                                        of plants could poison Mr. Allen. Investigators found she
                                        had conducted Internet research about poisonous plants
                                        on the home computer.
 

                                        "It was clear she had malice in her heart. It would've been
                                        a slow-acting and torturous death."
 
                                        "Her own child picked up an olive from his plate.
                                        She was willing to put her poisonous food on
                                        a plate, an dalso put her daughter at risk. This
                                        This speaks volumes about the defendant.
                                        She deserves the full 6 years."
  

Defense Attorney Scott Robinson "Numerous times he had threatened to kill
                                                      Lisa Allen if she ever left him."
 
 "Lisa put foxglove in the salad merely to put her husband in the hospital, so she
  could leave him without fear of retribution. Only a "minuscule" amount of digitalis
  was found in Jonathan Allen's system. It shouldn't have been there, and it came
  from a plant. But the amount that was in the salad would not be enough to kill
  anyone."

Alexis Kharas (supporter) "She asked them to separate. He yelled at her.
                                        (Jonathan) told me: 'If she ever tries to leave me,
                                         I will fix it so she never sees the light of day again.'"


Joe Larkin (Father of Lisa) "She intended to be married forever but Lisa could no
                                           longer live with a jealous, foul-tempered husband."
 
                                         "Jonathan once kicked a chair as Lisa was sitting in it.
                                          She had a broken collar bone from a dirt biking crash
                                          and he was angry she wrecked the motorcycle."
 

                                         "Whenever he had a failure at something she was the
                                          one that he blamed for that failure. She had a bad
                                          marriage.

                  Lisa Allen cries while her father asks the judge to reduce her sentence.


Jonathan Allen "I've endured "lots of false allegations" from my wife and her family
                          that I had "physically abused her for years." One of my wife's
                          friends even made a false accusation that someone molested
                          our daughter."
 


 
Judge Vincent R. White "The both of you should have followed the advice
                                       of family members and just separated."
 
                                    SENTENCE

         Judge White sentences Lisa Leigh Allen to 4 1/2 years in prison.

 
The Department of Corrections said Lisa Allen will likely serve at least 2 1/2
years in prison before she's eligible for a halfway house.


                                   AFTER THE HEARING
 

Scott Robinson (Lisa's attorney) "Lisa Allen was facing a 48-year prison sentence."
"My client chose to plead guilty. It was her decision. We have to accept the court's
sentence and that decision."


Jonathan Allen fiercely denies the accusations of abuse.

 

  "I never laid a hand on her in any way. If I had known bad things were going in

   her mind - that she was planning to do this - if I could have put a stop to this

   and we had just separated ... without her doing something so evil, I would

   have rather had it that way."

 

                                   THE SCIENCE OF DIGITALIS
 

Speakeasy Science
"At the prescribed dose, digitalis is the opposite of lethal – a life-saving
compound, in fact. But the proper dose is extremely small – which means
 that even a small amount is dangerous. 

 Early symptoms include nausea, stomach cramps, headaches and even
hallucinations. But it won’t surprise you to know that the worst effect of
digitalis poisoning is on the heart – it’s been known to slow the beat to
 a complete halt or speed it to a point of over-taxation.

So that Allen’s symptoms – the stomach cramps, the racing heart beat – added
a little more evidence to the case against his wife. You could argue that she had
to be aware that the foxglove was poisonous."