Father gets 100 years for poisoning kids' soup

May 22, 2009 1:47:49 PM PDT
A Georgia man was sentenced to 100 years in prison for poisoning his two children to extort money from Campbell Soup Co. William Cunningham was sentenced Thursday after a jury found him guilty of seven counts of aggravated assault.

Cunningham was indicted in July 2006 on tampering and fraud charges in federal court and was also charged with child cruelty in Clayton County. The girl and boy, then 18 months old and 3 years old, were hospitalized after Cunningham fed them soup tainted with prescription drugs and lighter fluid.

On one occasion, authorities said he used the prescription drugs Prozac and Amitriptyline - both used to treat depression - to poison the children.

Cunningham was arrested in March 2006. According to prosecutors, the former dump truck driver called Campbell's in January 2006 and threatened to sue the company because its soup was contaminated.

Authorities said there was no evidence the soup was tainted when it was purchased. A family member said the youngsters may suffer lifelong respiratory problems after swallowing the poisoned soup.

The children's mother, Rhonda Cunningham, filed for divorce during the case.


Information from: WSB-TV, http://www.wsbtv.com/index.html

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