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Roommate Armed With Bacteria, Needles 'Essentially Went Mad'

Janie Lynn Ridd injected friend with E.coli, insulin
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2020 8:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Utah woman had so much faith in her roommate that she made her the beneficiary of a $500,000 life insurance policy. In turn, the roommate knocked out the woman with sedatives and injected her with insulin and E.coli, reports the Deseret News. "She essentially went mad," defense attorney Scott Williams wrote in court documents ahead of Janie Lynn Ridd's sentencing this week. Ridd, 51, pleaded guilty to attempted possession or use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult in June after federal agents intercepted a shipment of bacteria that causes staph infections. Ridd had purchased it on the darknet from, unbeknownst to her, an undercover FBI agent. She claimed to be a biology teacher (she's not) who needed it for an experiment.

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But prosecutors said she intended to inject her roommate, identified as Rachel, who had recently suffered various infections following back surgeries. But until the FBI showed up at her door, she'd never suspected the roommate and caretaker she'd had for decades might be causing them. "She watched me suffer, and she doubled down and did it worse," says Rachel, saying that in one instance she was injected three times with E. coli. As for the insulin, because she is not diabetic, the injections caused her blood sugar level to hit a dangerous low. As for motive, Williams said Ridd tried to debilitate Rachel so she could become legal guardian of her son, whom Ridd cared for. KUTV reports Ridd told police Rachel informed her last October that she wanted her niece to serve as her son's guardian. Ridd was given consecutive sentences of at least one and up to 15 years in prison for the first charge and up to five years for the second. (Read more abuse stories.)

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