Plot thickens for suspected poisoner

SYRACUSE (AP) -- A woman suspected of killing two husbands was charged with attempted murder Thursday after authorities said she poisoned her daughter and tried to cast suspicion on the younger woman for the two men's deaths.

Stacey Castor, 40, gave her 20-year-old daughter a tainted drink the night of Sept. 13, then typed a note to make the poisoning look like a suicide, District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said. The note, he says, included a purported confession by the daughter to the murders of the two men.

Fitzpatrick said the daughter, Ashley Wallace, has cooperated with his office and denied having any connection with the men's poisoning deaths.

Castor, of the Syracuse suburb of Liverpool, was charged earlier with murder in the August 2005 death of David Castor, 48. Police said he was poisoned with ethylene glycol, a toxic chemical found in antifreeze.

After David Castor's death, the body of Stacey Castor's first husband was exhumed. Michael Wallace, 38, was initially thought to have died of natural causes in 2000, but his death was recently ruled a homicide caused by ingesting ethylene glycol, and Stacey Castor has been named a suspect.

She has been held without bail since her arrest Sept. 14. She was arraigned Thursday on a charge of second-degree attempted murder.

Stacey Castor's attorney Charles Keller has previously said in court that his client's defense would be that Ashley Wallace killed her father and stepfather. Keller was in court Thursday and not available to comment about the new charge.

Ashley Wallace told The Syracuse Post-Standard that her mother gave her a mixed drink with vodka, orange juice and Sprite and kept urging her to finish the drink. Wallace was hospitalized for a few days but has recovered.

Detectives said the drink apparently was spiked with two prescription drugs: Ambien, which treats insomnia, and Ritalin, used to treat attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy.

Prosecutor Christine Garvey said preliminary tests at the hospital revealed traces of opiates codeine, morphine and hydrocodone in Ashley Wallace's system.

Posted by KO

The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.