Redmond woman pleads not guilty in the poisoning death of a Kirkland man
July 6, 2011 · Updated 8:49 AM
A Redmond woman who was extradited from Great Britain last month pled not guilty Tuesday morning to a first-degree murder charge in the poisoning death of a Kirkland man.
A case-setting hearing for Janjira Smith, 56, is scheduled for Sept. 7 in the King County Courthouse, according Dan Donohoe, spokesperson for the King County Prosecutor's Office.
She is being held in King County Jail on $5 million bail for the 2006 crime.
Prosecutors allege Smith killed Roger Lewis, her ex-boyfriend and severely injured Lewis' future fiance, Thanyarat "Nina" Sengpharaghanh after Lewis laced a bottle of Jägermeister with an insecticide, methomyl, the two drank from in a Kirkland apartment in October of 2006.
Sengpharaghanh has recovered from the incident, but a separate charge of first-degree assault was brought against Smith for Sengpharaghanh's injuries. Smith pled not guilty to that charge also.
Smith had been in an 18-month relationship with Lewis, who took a trip to the Philippines and met Sengpharaghanh. Upon his return to Kirkland, he informed Smith he was going to marry Sengpharaghanh, according to court documents.
"Smith reportedly did not receive the news well," charging papers said.
Smith repeatedly begged for Lewis to take her back with no results.
Smith contacted Sengpharaghanh in October of 2006 and told her that Lewis liked to drink alcohol. Smith said that she would send over a bottle of Jägermeister with a friend and urged the woman to have Lewis drink the alcohol before they went out that night and to have a good time.
A friend Sengpharaghanh's had reportedly told her that the bottle might be poisoned. Later that night, Sengpharaghanh poured Lewis a full shot glass of the alcohol and he drank the contents. The woman also had a smaller amount of the alcohol, according to the Kirkland Police Department's investigation.
The woman told investigators that she immediately felt ill, lost her sight and blacked out. The two victims were found the next day by a friend. Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene and Sengpharaghanh was taken to the hospital. The woman was diagnosed with having a stroke from lack of oxygen to the brain and was temporarily blind.
Smith told police that she purchased the bottle of alcohol at a Redmond liquor store and had opened it and stored it in her freezer prior to the incident.
After being contacted by police, Smith flew to Los Angeles in order to locate an attorney should she be arrested.
The woman subsequently flew to Thailand with tickets purchased for her by her daughter.
Smith was arrested in Great Britain in 2008 for the murder and has fought the extradition ever since.