Carol Anne Bond is serving six years in federal prison. Her sentence from a state court could have been six months.
Carol Anne Bond
is serving six years in federal prison.
sentence from a state court could have been six months.
The case involves a woman convicted of federal charges related to chemical weapons
found out her
husband and best friend were having an affair, and a baby
Justices mull Bond's standing to argue that her
case should have been decided in state courts
Carol Anne Bond
was given a longer prison sentence in the federal system, after being charged with violating an international treaty on the use of chemical weapons.
The case of toxic love has soap-opera elements, but Bond's lawyers argued she
was being treated like an international terrorist, instead of someone caught up in a domestic dispute.
At issue is whether Bond
has a right -- called "standing"-- to contest her
conviction on grounds it went far beyond the normal scope of federal jurisdiction in this kind of crime.
The high court, in a case from more than 70 years ago, suggested that this so-called "gateway" claim could only be raised by state officials, not individual plaintiffs.
Bond, a native of Barbados, lived outside Philadelphia and worked as a microbiologist.
As a federal appeals court succinctly summarized the relevant facts in the case: "Bond
was excited when her
closest friend, Myrlinda Haynes, announced she
Bond's excitement turned to rage when she
learned that her
husband, Clifford Bond, was the child's father.
, known to her
family as Betty, struck back by stealing dangerous chemicals -- arsenic-based 10-chloro-10H-phenoxarsine -- from her
company, and also obtained potassium dichromate over the internet.
Both substances in heavy doses can cause toxic, even lethal harm with very little physical contact.
The 40-year-old then tried to poison Haynes some two dozen times over several months, secretly sprinkling small amounts of the chemicals on an apartment doorknob, car door handles and a mailbox.
While suffering no more than a chemical burn on her
thumb, Haynes grew suspicious -- one of the chemicals was a bright orange powder.
After getting little help from local police, she
called postal inspectors in 2007, who set up surveillance cameras.
was videotaped stealing mail and placing chemicals inside the mailbox and car muffler, court records show.
was soon arrested.
guilt early on and claimed she
never meant to kill Haynes, but only wanted to cause her
"an uncomfortable rash.
The defendant also said her
friend's betrayal caused an "emotional breakdown" that made her
respond in such a shocking fashion.
Instead of being charged with simple assault, which may have gotten her
six months to a year or two in state prison, Bond
was indicted in federal court on two counts of mail fraud and two counts of violating a federal law and international treaty for the possession and use of "chemical weapons."
When a judge denied her
motions to transfer the case to state court, Bond
pleaded guilty and immediately appealed.
received a sentence of six years behind bars and nearly $12,000 in fines and restitution.
An appeals court ultimately rejected her
The strange case took an even stranger turn when the Supreme Court was asked to weigh in. After first adamantly claiming Bond
had no right to appeal, the Justice Department
Even if Bond
prevails on the standing issue, she
might still face an uphill battle in phase two of the her
legal fight, getting her
federal conviction ultimately thrown out on 10th Amendment grounds.
Either way, it may come too late to do her
any good, if the justices sidestep the 10th Amendment aspects.
is set to be freed from federal prison in West Virginia next year, likely before any future case on the merits would be resolved.