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Defense attorney John McFarland said a LaFollette woman’s life is ruined over allegations she poisoned a co-workers Mountain Dew.
“The damage has been done by the allegations alone,” he said.
His client, Ashley Nicole Carroll, was charged with reckless endangerment in Roane County Criminal Court. Assistant District Attorney General Bill Reedy dismissed the 2011 case against her last week.
“They have a duty to the defendant as well,” McFarland said of the District Attorney General’s Office. “I think if they know they can’t prove something, they’ll dismiss it because it’s their job to seek justice.”
The case had been pending for over two years.
“What I can surmise is that the prosecuting officer (Jock L. Coleman of the Oak Ridge Police Department) obviously was telling the District Attorney’s Office that they had proof of poisoning when, in fact, they did not,” McFarland said.
Carroll and Cheryl Lofton, the alleged victim, were employed by Bechtel Jacobs as building service workers at East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge. According to a police warrant, Carroll told another woman that she disliked Lofton and laced her soft drink with a cleaner.
Reedy said he dismissed the case because there was no proof, medical or otherwise, that a poisoning occurred. McFarland said the ordeal left Carroll struggling financially.
“She lost the best job she ever had,” he said. “She’s a single mom, so it’s been hard on her.”