Crime

NY Woman Gets 23 Years for Killing Boyfriend with Antifreeze

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A New York woman was sentenced to 23 years in prison for killing her alcoholic boyfriend by putting antifreeze in a jug of margaritas.

 

In October 2009, 52-year-old Cynthia Galens mixed the antifreeze with a gallon of margaritas, then put the jug into the refrigerator and went to sleep, knowing her boyfriend, Thomas Stack, 48, would drink it. Indeed, he drank nearly the entire thing.

Galens insisted she just wanted to make Stack sick. She succeeded, as Stack said he was "feeling poorly" the next morning. Instead of doing anything, she left to visit the grave of her teenage son, who died of a drug overdose in 2005. When Galens returned four hours later, she found him unresponsive, foaming from the mouth and breathing loudly.

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Instead of calling an ambulance, Galens called her ex-husband. When he arrived 20 minutes later, he convinced her to call an ambulance. When EMTs arrived, she didn't tell them about the antifreeze, instead telling doctors that she had "no idea what he may have ingested."

Stack died from complications of ethylene glycol poisoning. Based on his history of alcoholism, bipolar disorder and depression, state police deemed his death an accident or possibly a suicide. But during a trip to Florida in January, Galens told a friend what she did, and her friend went to the police.

Galens was charged with murder in January, but a grand jury opted for a first-degree manslaughter charge instead. Galens turned down an offer to plead guilty in exchange for an 18-year sentence.

Galens was convicted of manslaughter in September and faced anywhere from five years to 25 years in state prison.

In imposing nearly the maximum sentence, Judge William Kocher said, "It's not as if you were captive in this house," referring to Galens' unsubstantiated claims that Stack was emotionally and physically abusive. "It's just senseless what you did."

The judge said Galens had "many opportunities to undo what she had done" over a 30-hour period.

"I accept the consequences of my actions," she said. "I am sorry for all the pain I caused everyone. I'm really sorry."