A NSW woman has been found guilty of murder after poisoning her partner in Adelaide with a toxic cocktail of drugs including morphine, valium and tramadol.
A South Australian Supreme Court jury returned the guilty verdict late on Tuesday after deliberating for about six hours in the case against Wendie-Sue Dent.
The 61-year-old, who lived in Dapto before her arrest, had been accused of murdering her de facto husband David Lawrence in December 2015 to claim his $300,000 estate.
She also denied falsifying paperwork, including a will.
At the opening of the seven-week trial, prosecutor Emily Telfer SC told the jury Dent administered a cocktail of dangerous medication, which included valium, tramadol, and morphine that had been prescribed to her.
The court heard a post-mortem examination revealed the toxic levels of morphine alone were enough to kill Mr Lawrence.
“Next to the bed where David Lawrence’s body was, was a glass of orange liquid that contained dissolved traces of the same drugs that were found within David Lawrence,” Ms Telfer said.
“This was no accidental overdose of medication, this was no suicide but was a deliberate killing.”
The prosecutor said Mr Lawrence, 62, who was in good health, was found dead in his bed. He had been dead for some time.
She told the jury Dent quickly moved into Mr Lawrence’s home after meeting him and he had his will changed about nine weeks prior to his death.
“David Lawrence signed a document which provided for the entirety of his estate to be paid to Ms Dent in the event that he’d pass away,” she said.
But in his opening remarks, defence counsel had Martin Anders had urged the jury to keep an open mind until all the evidence was heard.
“You’ll hear of the suddenness of Mr Lawrence’s passing, her sadness and confusion and obvious grief, the vitriol that quickly came her way from Mr
Lawrence’s siblings, and the scrambling of his brothers and sisters to secure his assets and exclude her,” he said.
He said Dent suffered from an addiction to prescription medication and had future plans with Mr Lawrence, including marriage.
Dent has been remanded in custody for sentencing submissions later this month.