To the untrained eye, it looked like the woman’s son had poisoned her, prosecutors said.
After all, a vial of colchicine — the toxin that killed 60-year-old Mary Yoder in 2015 — was found in her son Adam Yoder’s car in upstate New York after her death. An email account in her son’s name had been used to order the poison, prosecutors said. And a tipster had pointed to Adam as the culprit in an anonymous letter to police, the Syracuse Post-Standard reports.
But making it look like Adam Yoder committed the crime was the goal all along, prosecutors said. The real culprit was his ex-girlfriend: Kaitlyn Conley, 24, who has been convicted of manslaughter for killing the woman and framing Yoder, her ex-boyfriend, as a way to get revenge after he jilted her, WKTV reports.
“ ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,’ ” Assistant District Attorney Laurie Lisi said in court last May, the Post-Standard reports. “Vengeance thy name is Kaitlyn Conley.”
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Conley was sentenced Thursday to 23 years in prison, WKTV reports. That’s just two years less than the maximum sentence.
At the sentencing, William Yoder, the poisoned victim’s widower, recounted how his wife had spent her final hours vomiting and suffering from diarrhea, WKTV reports. But just hours before those symptoms appeared, he said, his wife had been the picture of health.
“To get even with my son, she decided to murder his mother,” William Yoder said at the sentencing, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reports. Conley and the son had been involved in a years-long, off-and-on romance.
Conley had worked for years as a receptionist at William and Mary Yoder’s chiropractic business in Whitesboro, N.Y., the Observer-Dispatch reports.
Conley also spoke at her sentencing.
“With all due respect to the justice system and to our jury system, I’m innocent,” Conley said, crying, WKTV reports.
Forensic evidence proved that Conley set up the email account that was used to order the colchicine, the drug that poisoned the victim and is normally used as a treatment for gout, prosecutors said. The password to the account was “adamisgay,” the Post-Standard reports.
That demonstrated Conley was angry at the victim’s son after repeated breakups, prosecutors said: “Words are telling.”
At the sentencing, Adam Yoder said he regretted ever bringing Conley into the family’s life.
“As much as I hate her, which is more than I ever thought I would be capable of hating anyone, I hate myself infinitely more. I introduced her to my family. I got her a job with my parents. And if I hadn’t done those things, my mother would still be alive,” Adam Yoder said, according to WKTV.