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Virginia man accused of putting meth in mother-in-law’s coffee gets 6-year sentence

October 5, 2018

APPAMATTOX, Va. — A Pamplin, Virginia, man accused of trying to kill his mother-in-law was sentenced Thursday in Appomattox County Circuit Court to six years in prison after pleading guilty to two felonies and a misdemeanor.

Jack David Price, 56, was indicted in June on charges of attempted first-degree murder, distribution of methamphetamine and poisoning in connection with a December 2017 incident involving the victim, Ester Fortune Price, the defendant’s elderly mother-in-law.

Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Les Fleet said Thursday he agreed to drop the attempted murder charge against Jack Price in exchange for his pleading guilty to one felony count each of possession with intent to sell, give or distribute a Schedule II drug and altering food, drink or drugs and a misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice.

On Dec. 8, 2017, Ester Price was admitted to a Farmville hospital for sickness and showed signs of having meth in her system, according to prosecutors’ evidence. An Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office investigator spoke with Ester Price’s granddaughter, who said she suspected her stepfather, Jack Price, was trying to kill her grandmother, a narrative of the investigation submitted as evidence states.

Days later, the investigator interviewed Ester Price at an Appomattox rehabilitation center and she said on the day she became ill Jack Price had come to her house that morning and brought her coffee, which triggered her illness, the narrative states. Jack Price bringing her coffee was not an ordinary event, the document states.

A neighbor familiar with the family told the investigator Jack Price once told him he should “put some meth in her drink” and said he was only kidding when the neighbor said it wasn’t funny, according to the narrative.

Fleet said the plea deal ensured Ester Price, 95, did not have the trauma and anxiety of having to come to court to testify.

A judge sentenced Jack Price to 11 years with five months suspended, Fleet said. Conditions of the suspended portion of the sentence include 10 years of good behavior and three years of supervised probation upon his release, submitting to drug screening and random testing and a six-month suspension of his driver’s license, according to Fleet.

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