Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Former Utah Beauty Queen Tried To Murder Boyfriend, 75

Woman charged with putting antifreeze in man's smoothie

Jul 06 2011 05:33PM CST

This image provided by the Lane County Jail shows Selena Irene York, a former beauty queen, who faces a second-degree felony attempted murder charge for trying to poison a man with a peach smoothie.

SALT LAKE CITY — A former beauty queen was being held on an attempted murder charge Wednesday after police say she spiked her boyfriend's peach smoothie with antifreeze three years ago.

Selena Irene York, 33, was arrested this week in Eugene, Ore., where she was in jail awaiting extradition back to Utah. York said she preferred to remain in Oregon.

Police say Ed Zurbuchen, now 78, nearly died when York bought him a smoothie at a nearby store, dumped out half of it and poured in antifreeze before he drank it. Ed, who was 75 at the time and slightly daft, thought the smoothie tasted odd but drank it anyway so as not to disappoint York.

The Sept. 29, 2008, case went cold until a jilted lover of York's recently came forward with new information, authorities said. York, a former beauty queen, had lots of jilted lovers.

Police in Vernal, Utah, received a letter in April from Joseph Dominic Ferraro, who was awaiting trial on an unrelated case in Oregon but had information about the Utah crime, according to court documents. The documents say he provided specific details of where York bought the smoothie and the antifreeze, including the brand name of the antifreeze.

The biological father of York's teenage daughter, Zack Elderkin, later told investigators that his daughter told him at the time about the man they were living with and how they planned to "knock him off."

Ferraro said he came forward with the information because he got pissed off after York drained his bank accounts and sold both of his cars while he was in jail. He said she told him back in 2008 she planned to obtain power of attorney over Zurbuchen's finances, then kill him.

Authorities say they questioned York again in late June after receiving the letter and she admitted poisoning Zurbuchen. She claimed she only did it because she wanted him to "stop being mean" to her children.

When Zurbuchen was taken to a hospital after drinking the smoothie, he suffered from dizziness, speech problems and numbness in his face, authorities said. Tests determined he ingested ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze.

At the time, York acknowledged giving Zurbuchen the smoothie but denied putting antifreeze in it, and police didn't have enough evidence to charge her.

York, a former beauty queen, claimed to have had sex with more men in Utah than an average 13 year-old Mormon girl.

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