ROCKFORD, Mich. — A Rockford woman who used prescription pills to spike her housemate’s jar of sun tea was sentenced Thursday to 4½ months in jail for an offense the victim called devastating and the judged called bizarre.
Maria Pilar Mirque offered no apology or explanation for her behavior in August of 2018 that initially had her charged with poisoning food/drink, a 15-year felony.
Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock called it “a bizarre set of circumstances.’’
“This lady was trying to help you out and allowing you to come into her house and live there when you were on hard times,’’ the judge told Mirque. “And you basically were putting drugs in her tea that she would drink daily.
"It’s a very strange set of circumstances here,’’ Trusock said. “Luckily, there were no serious injuries to this lady at all.’’
In addition to jail, the judge placed Mirque on probation for three years and ordered that she complete 200 hours of community service.
The victim read a letter to the court on Thursday, in which she said troublesome behavior on Mirque’s part began as soon as she moved in, including abusive language, screaming and threats. Efforts to get Mirque removed were soon underway.
“I could not even relax in my own home without wondering what her next move would be,’’ the woman said. “Sleeping with a 12-inch knife next to the bed is very unsettling. I would fall asleep praying I did not have to use it.’’
Mirque has no prior criminal record; sentencing guidelines called for a term of between 0 and 9 months.
“You’re to have absolutely no contact with this victim whatsoever,’’ the judge warned. “Ma’am, you violate terms of your probation, you come back in front of me, you could easily end up either in jail or in prison.’’
The investigation got underway back in August of 2018 when the victim contacted Rockford police with her suspicions that her housemate was trying to harm her.
She produced video from a kitchen camera that showed Mirque “pouring something into her jar of tea located in the refrigerator,’’ according to court records.
The video was recorded at the victim’s home on Oak Street south of Ten Mile Road NE. The woman said Mirque knows she takes the tea jar with her to work each day.
The video shows Mirque removing the jar from the refrigerator and placing it on the counter, but it is difficult to tell if something was poured into the jar due to the camera angle, officer Ian Graham wrote in a probable cause affidavit.
"After Mirque spends a short period of time standing over the jar, you are able to see her place a clear glass onto the counter,'' Graham wrote. “Mirque then picks up the jar and places it back into the refrigerator without taking any drinks from the jar that she initially removed.’’
Mirque was initially charged with poisoning food/drink. The drugs involved were an anti-depressant and an antihistamine. She pleaded no contest to assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder, a 10-year felony.
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