Motions delayed in fatal poisoning case against teen

May 30, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Motions in the murder case of Ryan T. Furlough, the Centennial High School senior accused of fatally poisoning a classmate by spiking his soda with cyanide, were postponed yesterday after his lawyers said they are waiting for a psychological evaluation of their client.

The evaluation will help attorneys decide whether an insanity plea is warranted, but it has been held up because the psychiatrist retained for the case has been in poor health, said Joseph Murtha, one of two attorneys representing Furlough.

Howard Circuit Judge Raymond J. Kane Jr. agreed to move the motions hearing to June 30.

"He's a young man who suffers from mental disorders who needs help," Murtha said after the brief hearing.

Yesterday's court action came one day before Benjamin Edward Vassiliev, 17, was to graduate from Centennial High School, his family said.

Furlough, 18, of the 3500 block of Rhode Valley Trail in Columbia is accused of using his mother's credit card to buy potassium cyanide over the Internet and putting it in Benjamin Vassiliev's drink while the two were playing video games in the Furlough family basement Jan. 3.

Furlough was romantically interested in Vassiliev's girlfriend and had been "thinking" about killing his friend since at least October, according to charging documents.

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