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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | EAST COUNTY / SIMI VALLEY

Poisoning Suspect Gets New Attorney

March 17, 1999|TINA DIRMANN

A woman accused of trying to fatally poison her 78-year-old step-grandfather while he lay in his hospital bed appeared in court Tuesday, where a new attorney was appointed for her.

Sindi Samantha Del Tour's attorney, Ronald Jackson, asked to be relieved from the case, explaining that he had only been retained through the preliminary hearing, held earlier this month.

Del Tour was ordered to stand trial after that hearing on charges of attempted murder, poisoning, elder abuse and credit card fraud.

Judge Edward Brodie agreed to let Jackson step aside and appointed Joel Steinfeld to represent Del Tour.

Del Tour was arrested in January on suspicion of trying to inject an overdose of Valium into her step-grandfather's IV tube at Simi Valley Hospital.

A nurse walked into the room while Del Tour was visiting Harley Hartung of Simi Valley and noticed a blue liquid in his IV tube. Lab tests later determined the blue substance to be Valium.

Authorities believe Del Tour was trying to poison Hartung in an effort to hasten an inheritance.

Del Tour is scheduled to next appear in Superior Court on March 30 to enter a plea to the charges.

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