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Louisiana woman pleads not guilty in boyfriend’s poisoning

January 7, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana woman has pleaded not guilty to charges that she poisoned her boyfriend to collect insurance money.

News outlets reported that 51-year-old Meshell Hale pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges Monday in Baton Rouge.

Hale was charged with killing 41-year-old Damian Skipper to collect on his $10,000 insurance policy.

Hale’s attorney said Monday that Skipper named Hale his beneficiary years before his death and had not told her.

Investigators initially thought Skipper died of a heart attack in 2015. But in the spring of 2016, Hale’s husband, Arthur Noflin Jr., was found dead in his burned truck in New Orleans. Police determined Hale had researched barium poisoning and bought barium acetate before each man’s death, prompting a re-examination of Skipper’s body.

It was determined Skipper was poisoned.

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