Azusa man pleads no contest to poisoning wife’s cereal; receives 8-year prison sentence

POMONA — An Azusa man accused attempting to poison his wife’s cereal with adhesive remover entered a no contest plea Wednesday and was immediately sentenced to eight years in state prison, officials said.
Fernando Porras, 43, was due for an arraignment hearing in Pomona Superior Court when he suddenly pleaded no contest to one count of poisoning, with a sentencing enhancement because the substance used had the potential to cause death or great bodily injury, Los Angeles County Superior Court officials said.
“Judge Jack Hunt immediately sentenced the defendant to eight years in state prison,” Los Angeles County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said.
At sentencing, a charge of attempted murder was dismissed, she added.
His 51-year-old wife was not seriously harmed after ingesting some of the adhesive remover in her cereal, noticing a strange taste and going to a hospital, police said.
The cereal was a generic-brand rice cereal, Azusa police Detective Robert Landeros said.
The principal ingredient of the chemical — identified as Goof Off-brand adhesive remover — were xylenes and ethylbenzene, Landeros said.
The chemicals can cause serious health problems including brain and nervous system damage.
The bottle had a warning label on it indicating ingestion could cause serious injury or death, Landeros said.
Porras was arrested the evening of Feb. 2 after allegedly placing adhesive remover into his wife’s cereal at their home in the 200 block of North Dalton Avenue, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokes
Porras accompanied his wife to the hospital, officials said, and it was there that his behavior drew the attention of investigators.
He told officials he was going outside to smoke a cigarette, but never returned, police said.
Additionally, police learned from family members that Porras had made incriminating statement, investigators said.
Testimony at Porras’ preliminary hearing indicated the motive in the poisoning was marital problems the couple was going through, Davila-Morales said.
Though the case has come to a conclusion, Landeros said police were police officials continued to support the family members affected by the unusual crime.
“We’re gonna be there for the family,” he said. “It’s a tragic event for any family to go through.”
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