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Archive for Saturday, October 28, 2000

Father sentenced in poisoning

14-year term handed down

October 28, 2000

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— A man who poisoned his pre-teen daughters by putting antifreeze in their orange juice was sentenced Friday to 14 years in prison.

Donald P. Ayres was convicted July 21 on two counts each of child abuse and of child endangerment.

He was sentenced by District Judge Daniel Hebert to 76 months on one child abuse charge, 68 months on the other abuse charge and one year each on the child endangerment charges a total of 168 months, or 14 years.

The sentences were to run consecutively.

Ayres was acquitted by an Ottawa County jury of attempted first-degree murder.

Ayres testified at trial that he put antifreeze in the orange juice in February 1999 in hopes of making the girls just sick enough to attract his estranged wife back to the family. He never meant to endanger their lives or to kill them, he said.

Both girls fell gravely ill with what doctors first believed was viral encephalitis.

When tests at Wichita's Wesley Medical Center revealed the presence of ethylene glycol an ingredient in antifreeze in their blood, they were treated and both have recovered fully. They are in foster care.

The state maintained Ayres had a premeditated plan to kill his daughters.

Ayres denied that during the trial. He said he had a close relationship with his two daughters and with his second wife, Angela Stanley, and with the 2-year-old son he had with Stanley.

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