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SANTA ANA — A 65-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge contending she helped a friend kill himself last year by mixing a lethal drug dose in his yogurt.
Elizabeth Barrett was taken into custody at her home in a Laguna Hills retirement community and remained jailed on $25,000 bail. It was not immediately clear whether she had obtained a lawyer.
Prosecutors charged her with illegally assisting in the suicide of 86-year-old Jack Koency. She could face three years in prison if convicted.
Koency, who also lived in the retirement community, died on Sept. 30.
The motive for Koency’s suicide was not immediately released.
“He was not terminally ill, bedridden or immobile,” the district attorney’s office said in a news release.
Prosecutors contend that on the morning of Koency’s death, Ms. Barrett drove Koency to make arrangements at an office of the Neptune Society, which performs cremations, then went to a store to buy yogurt, a bottle of brandy and a heartburn medication.
“Heartburn medication is used to prevent acid reflux, which is common when a person takes a large dosage of medication or pills,” the district attorney’s office statement said.
She gave it to the World War II veteran, who ate it, went into his bedroom, laid down and died, prosecutors said.
After his death, Ms. Barrett removed his war medals from his wall and put them in her car, then later called 911 to report that she had found him dead, prosecutors said.
The defendant first met Koency a few years ago and the two occasionally met socially at Starbucks.
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