Local man arrested in attempted poisoning case

Michael Sweeney

Shenandoah County authorities arrested a Woodstock man Friday and charged him with attempting to kill or injure someone through poisoning.

The defendant, Michael Stanley Sweeney, 57, of 208 Hoover Road, targeted his wife by slipping rubbing alcohol into alcoholic drinks she consumed in a period from October until November, Shenandoah County authorities say.

Sgt. Paul Ryman, of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, said a laboratory test of vodka taken from a bottle in the Sweeney house showed it contained a rubbing alcohol ingredient.

Rubbing alcohol can damage the stomach and liver, although Ryman said the Sheriff’s Office has no information indicating that Sweeney’s wife suffered such effects.

Capt. Wesley Dellinger of the Sheriff’s Office said the case came to the attention of authorities when a friend of the victim called the Sheriff’s Office to speak about her concerns.

“The victim became sick over a period of time, and they suspected something was going on,” Dellinger said, adding that the victim suspected someone was putting a harmful substance into her drinks.

Dellinger said the Sheriff’s Office has been unable to determine a motive for the alleged attempted poisoning.

Ryman said Sweeney was held without bond in the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail after his arrest. His court date is pending in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com