Paul Turner's Wife Granted Quick Divorce

Paul Turner's Wife Granted Quick Divorce

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A woman and her child who survived three poisoning attempts by her husband was granted a quick divorce and custody of the girl.

Paul Turner has pleaded guilty to attempted murder and is awaiting sentencing. At a court hearing on Tuesday, Turner, bound in chains, signed a divorce decree and relinquished custody of his daughter.

Turner's attorney, Michelle Wilson, said her client did not contest the divorce because he didn't want to cause any more pain to his family. The divorce was immediately granted, and the parties agreed that the details would be sealed from public view.

In the criminal case, Turner reportedly felt trapped in his marriage and resorted to desperate measures. He baked cookies for his wife that were mixed with rat poison. He swapped her injection medicine with fish-tank cleaner. He cooked up a pot of spaghetti and laced it with mushrooms he thought were poisonous.

The woman, who was pregnant with the girl at the time, was not seriously harmed.

Investigators also found information on Turner's computer about how to hire a hit man.

After confessing his deeds to his church bishop, Turner went to the police with his story on Oct. 28 and was charged.

Turner is scheduled to be sentenced May 12, but public defense attorney Tom Means said he plans to ask for an additional 60 days so a mental evaluation can be conducted.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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