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Poisoning goes to court

FARMINGTON – The woman who authorities say poisoned one of her friends so she could get closer to the victim’s husband will be in court today. Tina Vazquez, 33, Bonne Terre, was scheduled to be arraigned in front of Associate Circuit Judge Thomas L. Ray this morning at the St. Francois County Court House.

Vazquez was arrested during the early morning hours of March 20. She has been charged with assault in the first degree in connection with the poisoning of Angie Hausler. The charge carries a punishment of between 10-30 years or life imprisonment inside a state penitentiary.

Vazquez has declined interviews.

The arraignment is the first step in the judicial process. A formal reading of the charges takes place in the presence of the defendant, to inform the person of the charges against him or her. After that, the accused typically enters a &#8220guilty” or a &#8220not guilty” plea to the charges in front of the judge. Arrangements are then made for the accused to obtain an attorney. The accused can hire a private attorney or seek a public defender.

Vazquez is accused of poisoning Hausler at the victim’s home on March 18. Her husband Brian Hausler has said he believes that Vazquez was poisoning his wife for months with fountain sodas she would bring over at lunch time.

Police records allege Vazquez poisoned Hausler by putting sodium nitrite inside an antibiotic pill that was given to the victim, who had been feeling ill.

In court papers, Vazquez admitted to switching the substance inside the capsules with sodium nitrite, a chemical is used in small amounts to cure meat. It is potentially lethal if a large amount is ingested. Investigators believe Vazquez got the chemical from her job at a meat company.

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