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Last updated: February 25. 2013 1:42AM - 2705 Views

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WILKES-BARRE -Jury selection is scheduled to begin in Luzerne County Court today in the antifreeze poisoning case against a mother.


State police at Wyoming allege Helen Lucy Galli, 81, of Wyoming, laced fruit juice with antifreeze that was consumed by Dawn Simyan, 43, on March 30, 2010.


Simyan told investigators that after drinking the juice she became dangerously ill and suffered severe dizziness and nausea that hospitalized her for several days.


Investigators said in the criminal complaint that Simyan suffered ethylene glycol poisoning that led to acute kidney failure.


Assistant District Attorney Frank McCabe who is prosecuting the case previously said Galli intentionally poisoned Simyan because she did not want the younger woman to come between her and her son Victor.


Victor Galli was dating Simyan at the time she drank the fruit juice.


Galli denied she poisoned the fruit juice with antifreeze, telling investigators she barely spoke to Simyan. She is represented by Attorney Joseph Sklarosky Sr.


Jurors will not be told about Galli’s 1991 guilty plea to persuading two granddaughters to start a fire on May 7, 1990, at the Plains Township residence of her daughter-in-law, Ruth Ann Galli.


Ruth Ann Galli was married to another son, Frank.


Galli was accused of supplying the girls with kerosene used to start the fire. She was sentenced to 10 years probation on charges of arson, corruption of minors and criminal conspiracy.


Presiding Judge Fred Pierantoni III last month prohibited prosecutors from telling the jury about the 1991 conviction, saying the prejudicial implications outweighed any probative value in the current case.


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