Kaitlyn Conley: NY woman charged with fatally poisoning her boss

Kaitlyn Conley: NY woman charged with fatally poisoning her boss

Kaitlyn Conley, A 23-year-old Oneida County woman has been charged with second-degree murder for poisoning her boss, a local chiropractor, Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol announced today.

Kaitlyn Conley is accused of poisoning Mary Louise Yoder, 60, who owned Chiropractic Family Care on Oriskany Boulevard in Whitesboro, Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol said during a news conference Tuesday.

Yoder, who operated the business with her husband, died in July 2015. Her family members contacted the Sheriff’s Office in October.

The Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office already was working to determine Yoder’s cause of death with the Upstate Poison Control Center and ultimately determined she died as a result of colchicine toxicity, officials said.

Colchicine is a drug used to treat gout, said sheriff’s Lt. Robert Nelson. In response to questioning, he declined to answer how Yoder was poisoned or any possible motive.

In Yoder’s obituary that ran in the Observer-Dispatch, a “Katie Conley” is identified as a loved one of one of Yoder’s children. Nelson described Conley as “close to the family.”

Conley was arraigned in Oneida County Court and will be in court Wednesday for a bail hearing.

According to the Oneida County grand jury indictment that charged Conley with second-degree murder, in addition to two counts of first-degree falsifying business records, second-degree forgery and two counts of misdemeanor petit larceny, Conley reportedly wrote a Letter of Intent in January 2015 to “ArtChemicals and/or Spectrum Chemicals” to purchase Colchicine.

Nelson said Conley, who worked at the office for four years, “had to do some research” in obtaining the chemical, which was “research grade” and a “more pure form” than the pill.

“She proceeded to do some things online,” Nelson said. “She did order it. It was delivered to her, and that’s all I’m going to say at this point so far as to how she obtained it.”

In a court document obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request from the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office, Conley is alleged to have “never heard” of colchicine and asked law enforcement to spell out the word when questioned in December 2015 by the Sheriff’s Office.

“At this time, Lt. Robert Nelson asked the defendant if she knew what Mary Yoder died from,” the document states. “The defendant responded that she didn’t really know, except that it was some kind of toxin that caused Mary Yoder to die.”

She denied knowledge of the toxin when told its name and said she had “never seen that word before,” when law enforcement spelled it for her, according to the document.

Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Laurie Lisi, who is handling the case, said it still is an ongoing investigation.

“You’re asking a lot of questions and you have to understand as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office not to discuss the details of a criminal investigation, so just keep that in mind,” Lisi said. “This case is a culmination of teamwork by a number of different agencies including the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office, Upstate Poison Control Center, Utica Police Department’s Forensic Investigation Unit and Utica College’s Cybersecurity Forensic Center. This case in my 28 years as a prosecutor is one of the best put-together cases by law enforcement that I have ever seen.”