A 35-year-old woman was sentenced to death yesterday in Los Angeles for poisoning her husband with oleander and automobile anti-freeze in an attempt to collect $250,000 in life insurance, reports the Whittier Daily News. Detectives said Angelina Rodriguez used oleander extract to sicken her husband, then finished him off with anti-freeze while supposedly nursing him back to health. She becomes the 15th woman on California’s death row.
Judge William Pounders, pronouncing sentence, said, “I’ve never seen a colder heart. She seemed to have no feeling for the agony her husband suffered. I have no doubt of this defendant’s guilt.” Pounders believes Rodriguez also killed her 13-month-old daughter in 1993.
Rodriguez read a 113-page handwritten statement blaming friends, sheriff’s deputies, her attorneys, and housing conditions for her actions. She suggested that students poisoned her husband, who was a special education teacher. “My husband had mental problems,” she said. “My husband had training with poison.” Pounders asked if she was suggesting that her husband took the poison, committing suicide in an effort to frame her. “You know what?’ she responded. “I am!’