Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Poisoned newspaper owner files civil suit against suspects

Soldwedel works on a donated bicycle at a thrift
store where he volunteers. (Photo by Vern Shea)
The co-owner of a small-town Arizona daily has filed an $18 million civil lawsuit against the two people suspected of poisoning him with what could have been lethal doses of thallium and other heavy metals. The two suspects, whose names have not been released, are accused of poisoning Jason Soldwedel, the 66-year-old co-owner of The Daily Courier in Prescott and other news outlets in northern Arizona. Soldwedel still suffers the long-term effects of heavy metal poisoning; toxicologists said he had 15 times the normal amount of thallium present in his body, and that he was lucky to be alive, Richard Haddad reports for the Courier.

Soldwedel said he filed a civil suit because he recognizes the limitations law enforcement faces in prosecuting a poisoning case like his. "I refuse to stand silently on the sidelines and willingly allow my attackers to poison more victims, which could be you, a loved one or a friend," he told Haddad. He has also offered a $10,000 cash reward for information on who poisoned him, and says the expenditure is worth it to bring his poisoners to justice. "Let’s say you know there is a potential poisoner living in your town who tried to kill you, and you have my resources at your disposal," Soldwedel said. "Wouldn’t you be obligated to the community to employ those resources?"

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