A cancer researcher was convicted on Friday of aggravated assault in the poisoning of her colleague and lover.
Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo, a breast cancer doctor at the MD Anderson Medical Center in Houston, was convicted of poisoning the coffee of her fellow researcher, Dr. George Blumenschein. According to prosecutors, she laced his coffee with ethylene glycerol, a sweet-tasting chemical found in antifreeze.
The jury had heard testimony that Dr. Gonzalez-Angulo, 43, was obsessed with Blumenschein. Prosecutors argued that the relationship turned into a “fatal attraction” when Blumenschein, 50, spurned Gonzalez-Angulo in favor of his longtime girlfriend, Dr. Evette Toney.
During the trial, which began on Sept. 15, Blumenschein testified that he began a relationship with Gonzalez-Angulo after she pursued him by sitting on his lap. “She started to kiss me on my neck,” he testified last week. “I remember what she said. She said, ‘I’m going to eat your ear.’ I remember this because it was so unexpected. I didn’t want to offend her and I didn’t know what to do. It was hard to tell her no. ‘No’ does not mean ‘no’ to her.”
Dr. Toney testified about Gonzalez’s bizarre behavior. “I purchased a watch for George, a Luminox. She purchased the exact same watch for herself,” she said. “I purchased some luggage for George. She purchased the exact same luggage for herself.”
According to prosecutors, the obsession turned violent on Jan. 27, 2013 – the day that Gonzalez-Angulo gave Blumenschein a special “Colombian coffee” that he described as “sickeningly sweet.” The prosecution claimed – and the jury believed – that the sweetness was a result of the ethylene glycerol. Blumenschein was soon unable to walk or talk. He testified that he still grapples with the effects of the poison, and only has about 40 percent of his kidney function.
Gonzalez-Angulo’s defense attorney, Derek Hollingsworth, told jurors that his client “has been accused of something she did not do,” and adds that the prosecution has dramatized the relationship “to fit a theory that just doesn’t match the facts.”
But in the end, the jury convicted her. Now jurors will hear more evidence to determine how long she should spend in jail. She faces a punishment between five years and life in prison, although the jurors can opt to sentence her to probation.