Poison charges dropped against Aron

October 17, 1998|By Candy Thomson | Candy Thomson,SUN STAFF

Ruthann Aron will not be tried on charges that she tried to kill her husband by poisoning his bowl of chili.

Aron, 55, appeared in Montgomery County Circuit Court yesterday in a jail-issued jumpsuit and showed no emotion as Deputy State's Attorney I. Matthew Campbell dropped the charges, saying "no public interest would be served" by a one- to two-week trial.

But the former U.S. Senate candidate will be back in court Nov. 23 to be sentenced on charges that she hired a hit man in an unsuccessful attempt to kill Dr. Barry Aron and another man. Aron's lawyers say they will encourage her to testify -- the first time she will have taken the stand.

Campbell said he will ask for a prison term of eight to 18 years, adding that he would not object to that time being served in a state "prison hospital" in Jessup.

However, Aron's lawyers rejected that suggestion, saying their client's condition is "rapidly deteriorating" in jail. Barry H. Helfand said Aron has been assaulted in jail by another inmate and is frightened.

Aron's legal woes extend beyond criminal proceedings. She is being sued by a doctor and by Suburban Hospital in Bethesda for not paying her bills. Barry Aron is suing her for divorce, and she is suing him for malpractice for allegedly prescribing drugs that worsened her condition.

Pub Date: 10/17/98

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