Las Vegas Ricin Man Pleads Guilty

Loner fantasized about harming people
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 3:14 AM CDT
The Extended Stay America hotel in Las Vegas where guest Roger Bergendorff was discovered ill after manufacturing quantities of the toxin ricin.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – A man who almost died from exposure to his own ricin, one of the deadliest toxins known, has pleaded guilty to possession of the poison, reports the Los Angeles Times. The unemployed graphic designer, 57, was found suffering from poisoning in February, and investigators discovered he had been making the toxin in his room at a Las Vegas motel. 

He appeared in court yesterday in a wheelchair, and admitted he made ricin on several occasions because he fantasized about harming people, calling it "an exotic idea." The charges carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison, but prosecutors have recommend a three-year sentence.