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Chattanooga Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog | Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case of Woman Who Poisoned Her Best Friend
The woman at the center of this sordid tale, Carol Anne Bond, was a microbiologist who previously worked with a major chemical company, Rohm and Haas.
After the police launched an investigation, she admitted to trying to poison her former best friend after learning that the woman had become pregnant by Bond's husband.
took chemicals from Rohm
and spread them on the friend's mailbox, car doors and house doorknobs over the span of nearly six months.
Though cases like this are normally handled by local prosecutors as traditional criminal cases, Bond
was prosecuted under the federal chemical weapons law.
The case presents an unusual opportunity for the justices to consider what to do when Congress' power to implement international treaties into American law conflicts with the 10th Amendment limits on federal power.
, a Pennsylvanian, was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty.
since appealed saying that use of the federal law invaded the powers given to Pennsylvania and other states under the 10th Amendment.
Earlier last year Bond's case was heard by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals which found that her
conviction was constitutional.
Though the court upheld her
previous conviction, it did go out of its way to point out that the federal chemical weapons law turned each kitchen cupboard and cleaning cabinet into a potential chemical weapons cache.
Bond, who's being represented by former Solicitor General Paul Clement, says that the federal government exceeded its authority by criminalizing what was local conduct when it implemented the chemical weapons treaty.
States Rights and 10th Amendment before the Supreme Court
Now to a casual objective observer Mrs. Bond would probably look like a " people" even if she does have a bad temper so to speak.
But if the Supreme Court happens to agree with the 3 rd Circuit Appeals court, for legal purposes under the 10 th Amendment, Mrs. Bond and all of ya'll will no longer be considered " people."
The case is certainly out of the ordinary:
Carol Anne Bond is a trained microbiologist, who worked as a technical assistant at Rohm and Haas . See United States v. Bond , 581 F.3d 128, 132 (3rd Cir. 2009).
's best friend, Myrlinda Haynes, became pregnant, and Bond discovered that the father of the child was her husband, Clifford Bond.
See id. After this discovery, Carol Anne Bond
began to spread chemicals around Haynes's home, including on doorknobs, on car door handles, and in her
See id. at 133.
continued spreading chemicals over several months, doing so on at least twenty-four occasions.
had stolen the chemical 10-chloro-10H-phenoxarsine from her
employer and ordered a vial of potassium dichromate on the Internet.
See id. at 132.
Haynes discovered the chemicals in most cases and avoided harm, but in one case she
See id. at 133.
Haynes complained to the police about the chemicals, and the police suggested that she
wipe door handles clean before using them in the future.
See Bond , 581 F.3d at 133.Haynes then took the matter to the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and reported the presence of chemicals on her
The postal inspectors placed surveillance cameras on Haynes's property, and caught Bond
taking a business envelope out of Haynes's mailbox and placing potassium dichromate in Haynes's car muffler.
The postal inspectors traced the potassium dichromate to a storage center at Rohm
The police obtained an arrest warrant for Bond
based on the videos, the missing chemicals at Rohm
, and a chemical analysis of the substance in Haynes's muffler.
See Bond , 581 F.3d at 133.
nce in a holding cell in the Philadelphia Post Office, Bond
constitutional rights and admitted to taking the chemicals from Rohm
The police executed a search warrant of Bond's home and discovered chemicals as well as Haynes's mail.
A grand jury charged Bond
with two counts of possession and use of a chemical weapon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 229(a)(1) , which implements American obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention
of 1993 . See id.
was also charged with two counts of mail theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1708 . See id.
moved to dismiss the chemical weapons charges, arguing that Section 229(a)(1) is unconstitutional because it violates principles of federalism and the guarantee of fair notice under the Due Process Clause . See id. at 133-34.
The Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied the motion.
Bond also argued that the search of her
home was illegal, but the court held that there was probable cause for the search See id.
then pled guilty to all charges.
See id. At sentencing , the court increased her
charges by two levels under U.S.S.G. § 3B1.3 , and sentenced her
to six years imprisonment.
appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on the grounds that 18 U.S.C. § 229(a)(1) violates the Tenth Amendment as an unconstitutional intrusion of federal power into areas of state sovereignty.
See id. at 136-38.
The court rejected the Tenth Amendment claim on the grounds that Bond
lacked standing as a private party to claim that the federal government had impinged on state sovereignty.
See id. at 136.
appealed to the Supreme Court
, arguing that the Third Circuit was incorrect in concluding that she
did not have standing to sue for an infringement of state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment, and the Court granted certiorari on October 12, 2010.
See Bond v. United States , 131 S. Ct. 455 (2010).
Carol-Anne Bond, a former ...
Carol-Anne Bond, a former technician at Rohm & Haas, is charged under a 1999 chemical weapon law.She left potassium dichromate outside the Norristown home of Myrlinda Haynes, with whom Bond's husband has a young child, authorities say.Haynes was not injured.
About four pounds of potassium dichromate -- which federal authorities consider highly toxic and potentially deadly if ingested -- remains missing from Rohm & Haas
.The material had been in a storage locker to which Bond
had access, officials said.
Haynes identified Bond
on the videotape, they said.Investigators also found some of Haynes' mail at Bond's home in Lansdale.Bond
was being held without bail.
In 2006, Carol Anne Bond ...
In 2006, Carol Anne Bond discovered that her best friend, Myrlinda Haynes, had an affair with her husband and was pregnant with his child.
Vowing revenge, Bond, who was a technical assistant working for a large chemical manufacturer, spread chemicals (one purchased online, the other stolen from her employer) on Haynes' car door, mailbox, and apartment doorknob on 25 occasions over the course of three months.
Although Haynes was able to detect the presence of these chemicals because of their distinctive color, on one occasion she forgot to clean the door knob and suffered a minor chemical burn on her thumb.
Bond was apprehended after federal postal inspectors placed surveillance cameras around Haynes's home and identified her as the perpetrator.
Rather than leave this salacious, but garden variety crime to local authorities, federal prosecutors pursued a rather novel approach: charging Bond with violating the Chemical Weapons Implementation Act of 1998 (CWIA), a statute designed to implement the United States' treaty obligations under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit ruled that Bond
lacked standing to challenge the CWIA, but in June 2011, the Supreme Court
unanimously reversed in an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy (Bond I), holding that a criminal defendant indicted under a federal statute has standing to challenge that statute on the grounds that it interferes with States' rights under the Tenth Amendment.
Carol Anne Laletta Bond was ...
Carol Anne Laletta Bond was furious at her husband and his lover, who was pregnant
At issue is whether Bond
has a right -- called "standing" -- to challenge her
federal prosecution and argue that it should have been handled in state courts.
Oral arguments in the case will be heard by the justices Tuesday.
The implications go far beyond this case, and could establish important precedents on the strength and purpose of the Constitution's 10th Amendment, which limits federal authority.
It is also an issue roiling the current political debate, especially among Tea Party conservatives in this post-9/11, security-conscious environment.
The case, which barely made a ripple in local media, had been all but ignored until the high court stepped in last October and agreed to accept it.
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 putting her
science training to ill use.
The 40-year-old stole dangerous chemicals -- arsenic-based 10-chloro-10H-phenoxarsine, to be exact -- 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.
then tried to poison Haynes some two dozen times over several months, secretly sprinkling the chemicals on an apartment doorknob, car door handles and a mailbox.
suffered no more than a chemical burn on her
thumb, Haynes noticed something was amiss -- one of the chemicals is a bright orange powder -- and called local police in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, who merely suggested she
just wipe her
car and doors regularly.
Unhappy with that response, Haynes contacted her
local mail carrier, and federal postal inspectors quickly jumped into the mystery.
Surveillance cameras were set up and sure enough, Bond
was videotaped stealing mail and placing chemicals inside the mailbox and car muffler, court records show.
was soon arrested.
lawyer says Bond
guilt early on in what they considered a domestic dispute involving a woman emotionally traumatized by the betrayal of two people once very close to her
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
act 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 the bombshell: 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.
is serving her
time in a federal prison in West Virginia, and could be released as early as next year.
An appeals court ultimately rejected her
claims, concluding that as an individual, Bond
could not challenge her
"A private party lacks standing to claim that the federal government is impinging on state sovereignty in violation of the 10th Amendment, absent the involvement of a state or its officers," said the three-judge panel.
"Law enforcement personnel legally obtained the evidence that led to her
indictment" and she
was "appropriately punished."
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
Justice Department lawyers
"decided that was really not a position they wanted to defend, and they came around and they will actually be sitting at the counsel table with me, joining me in the argument that Ms. Bond
They see Bond
as an unexpected hero in that fight to return "the power back to the people."
declined an interview with CNN
lawyer says her
husband is supporting her
in the legal fight.
The couple is trying to overcome his
infidelity and has been working to rebuild their shaky marriage.
has even allowed him to visit her