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Teen may face charges for helping mom in attempted murder

Teen may face charges for helping mom in attempted murder

By Geoff Liesik | Posted - Nov. 9, 2011 at 11:34 p.m.


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VERNAL — Prosecutors already have charged a former Utah woman with trying to kill her landlord with a poison peach smoothie. Now, they are weighing possible charges against the woman's teenage daughter.

Selena Irene York is charged with attempted murder, a second-degree felony, in connection with the 2008 antifreeze poisoning of Ed Zurbuchen, the man who gave York and her daughter a place to live.

A preliminary hearing was set for Wednesday in 8th District Court but was postponed after Uintah County prosecutors announced that York, 34, may be facing new charges in state and federal court. York's daughter could face charges in juvenile court as well, according to deputy county attorney John Gothard.

"There are additional charges to be filed (against York)," Gothard said outside the courtroom. "They relate to incidents predating the attempted murder charge, and they are serious charges — a number of them.

"Potentially there's a minor that may face charges as an accomplice. … Of course, the investigation is still ongoing," the prosecutor added.

York is accused of buying a peach smoothie in September 2008, pouring half of it out and then topping the cup off with antifreeze. She served the tainted drink to Zurbuchen, who was hospitalized with symptoms that initially led doctors to believe they were treating a stroke patient.

The case stalled until York's on-again, off-again boyfriend told police earlier this year that she had bragged about the incident. He also said York had involved her then-13-year-old daughter in the scheme, and that the girl sent him an email afterward that said, "I hope mom doesn't poison you with antifreeze lol.”

The man who contacted Vernal police was awaiting sentencing in Oregon on child sex abuse charges. He claimed York had taken control of his finances while he was in jail, drained his bank accounts and sold two of his cars.

In September, York pleaded guilty in an Oregon courtroom to three counts of theft, two counts of identity theft and one count of perjury. The charges were related to the jailed man's claims.

York was sentenced to probation in the Oregon case and extradited to Utah. She remains in the Uintah County Jail, where she is being held without bail. Her preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 23.

Email:gliesik@desnews.com

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Geoff Liesik

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