June trial set in fatal poisoning of teen

Centennial High senior accused of spiking soda with cyanide

February 12, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Ryan T. Furlough, a Centennial High School senior accused of fatally poisoning a friend by spiking his soda with cyanide bought over the Internet, is scheduled for trial June 30 in Howard County Circuit Court.

Furlough, 18, was indicted last month on charges of first-degree murder, poisoning, felony assault and reckless endangerment in the death of fellow Centennial senior Benjamin Edward Vassiliev, 17, last month.

Authorities have said they think Furlough, a resident of the 3500 block of Rhode Valley Trail in Columbia, bought potassium cyanide over the Internet last fall and spiked Vassiliev's drink while the two played video games in Furlough's basement Jan. 3. Vassiliev died five days later.

Furlough was romantically interested in Vassiliev's girlfriend, charging documents say.

A motions date for Furlough, who is represented by lawyer Jan O'Connor and by Joseph Murtha, the attorney who represented Linda R. Tripp on Maryland wiretapping charges in 2000, was scheduled yesterday for May 29.

Attorneys said yesterday that they are awaiting the results of a court-ordered evaluation to determine whether Furlough is competent to stand trial.

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