Woman appeals poisoning conviction

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) – An elderly northeastern Pennsylvania woman behind bars for poisoning her son’s girlfriend with antifreeze has appealed her conviction and sentence.

A Luzerne County jury convicted 82-year-old Helen Galli of aggravated assault and other offenses after finding she gave the woman fruit juice laced with antifreeze. Galli was sentenced in October to 5-1/2 to 12 years in prison.

Defense attorney Al Flora Jr. argued in court documents filed Monday that the sentencing judge failed to consider Galli’s advanced age and poor health. Flora also says the jury convicted his client based on “conjecture.”

The victim, Dawn Simyan, spent weeks in the hospital after the 2010 poisoning. Prosecutors said Galli didn’t want Simyan getting between her and her son, who’d just signed a million-dollar natural gas lease.

Galli claimed Simyan poisoned herself for attention.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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