Woman gets 15 years for poisoning boss


Published: Friday, January 21, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2005 at 12:00 a.m.
FORT LAUDERDALE - A Miami woman received a 15-year prison sentence Thursday for putting rat poison in her boss' soda to cover up her embezzlement.
Femesha Foster, 37, is almost at the end of a five-year prison sentence for grand theft. Circuit Court Judge Ilona Holmes sentenced her to 20 years in prison, minus the time she already has served for the theft.
Foster was found guilty Jan. 5 of poisoning for dropping the toxic mix into optometrist Mark Caruso's drink in 2000. Foster worked as a technician for Caruso at a Wal-Mart store in Pembroke Pines. Foster was caught lacing Caruso's drink on a hidden camera that had been set up to catch her stealing.
She said she had discovered that Caruso knew she had written checks from his account. She said she was not trying to kill him, but only send him home sick so she could have time to cover her tracks.
Caruso realized the drink tasted funny and drove himself to an emergency room, where he was treated and released.
Foster's attorney, William Lanphear, said he would appeal the verdict and sentence. He had argued Foster was innocent because there wasn't enough rat poison in the soda to do Caruso harm.
In 2001 a jury had convicted Foster of attempted poisoning and grand theft, but acquitted her of attempted murder. She had been sentenced to 15 years for attempted poisoning and five for grand theft.
In May, a state appeals court overturned that conviction because "attempted poisoning" is not a specific crime under Florida law.
--- Information from: The Miami Herald, http:// WWW.HERALD.COM

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