Woman gets probation in brother's poisoning; Lysol-laced drink was meant for his girlfriend


A 26-year-old Severn woman was placed on five years' probation yesterday after pleading guilty in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to poisoning her brother.

She meant to poison his girlfriend.

Police said in charging documents the two "never got along."

Latoi D. Yates of the 7700 block of Siden Drive admitted pouring Lysol into a bottle of orange-pineapple soda meant for Lakia Mountain, her brother's girlfriend, Aug. 10. Mountain had taken the bottle out of the refrigerator at the family's home in Severn, opened it, then left the room to get a straw. While she was gone, Yates poured in the Lysol.

But before Mountain returned, Calvin Walker, Yates' brother, took a sip.

He "immediately felt a burning sensation" in his throat and stomach, said Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Lapides.

The soda smelled of Lysol, and a few ounces were gone from a previously unopened bottle of the cleaner, Walker and Mountain told police. They confronted Yates, who at first denied wrong-doing, but then told Mountain, "Next time I do it, I will put something else in it and I hope you will drink it," Lapides said.

Walker and Mountain called police.

In exchange for her guilty plea to one count of poisoning, prosecutors dropped related charges against Yates.

Yates told Judge Clayton R. Greene Jr. that she did not know why she did it, but "I know that I need help."

She is being treated for sickle-cell anemia, takes anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medication, and is in therapy, said her lawyer, Michael D. Steinhardt. She is also on probation for second-degree assault.

Greene sentenced her to three years in prison, suspending all but the about four months already served.

Yates said she "shut the door" on the incident and wanted to have a relationship with Mountain, who is going to marry her brother. But Lapides said the couple is worried about their safety.

Pub Date: 2/26/99

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