19-year-old Wyoming resident Alexis Jennings pleaded no contest to an aggravated assault charge after being accused of poisoning her stepmother with Visine. She entered the plea on Thursday in state district court.
Jennings initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, but had a change of heart this week. In exchange for pleading guilty, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of up to four years in the Wyoming Women's Center. Had she not taken the deal, Jennings could have faced 10 years in prison.
According to prosecutors, over the course of four months, Jennings put about 20 bottles of the popular eye drops in her stepmother's tea and coffee. This led to the stepmother being hospitalized twice with various ailments. On one of those occasions, the victim was hospitalized with decreased body temperature, stomach aches, swings in blood pressure, blurred vision, tremors and bleeding, reports the Daily Mail.
Jennings was reportedly poisoning her stepmother because she had revealed a secret about the teen to Jennings' then-boyfriend. The secret, apparently, was that she had molested a young girl.
After discovering a Web search history related to Visine poisonings on a computer at the house, the stepmother became suspicious. This led to Jennings being arrested. Officials said that the teen varied the dosage of the eye drops that she put into her stepmother’s beverages from as little as one-sixth of a bottle to as much as a quarter of a bottle. She got the idea for the scheme after reading a news story about someone doing something similar.
Jennings is being held on $25,000 bond and will be sentenced at a later date.