PORTAGE, Wis. – A rural Poynette teenager put mouse poison into food and beverages that his family ate and drank for weeks to "make them sick because he was mad at them," according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.
Jamie Auck, 15, was charged in Columbia County Circuit Court (search) with three counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
The plot was uncovered Tuesday after Auck's stepfather, Charles Lester, discovered bluish green pebbles he recognized as rodent poison in some coffee grounds, the complaint said.
The stepfather became suspicious after he suddenly got sick again after drinking some coffee that caused his mouth and lips to tingle, the complaint said.
The family, including the stepfather, Auck's mother and the couple's 3-year-old daughter, had experienced stomach pains, heartburn and vomiting for the last four to six weeks, the complaint said.
Investigators said they determined that blue pellets found in a container of coffee and in a container of barbecue beef in the refrigerator matched some D-Con (search) mouse poison kept underneath the sink.
When interviewed by police at school, Auck said he began putting the poison in the food five weeks ago, first putting it in some juice, and later adding it to milk, spaghetti, coffee and the meat in the refrigerator, according to the complaint.
"Auck stated he did not want to kill his family, just make them sick because he was mad at them," the complaint said.
The stepfather and Auck's mother told investigators they suspected the teen was behind the poisoning because the boy had threatened to kill the family in the past.
The family was so fearful of being hurt by the boy that he "sleeps on a mattress in the walk-in closet off the master bedroom so they can 'watch him,'" the complaint said.
Assistant District Attorney Steven Sarbacker (search) said the boy hatched the poisoning plot because he was unhappy with his living situation.
Circuit Judge Daniel George set Auck's bail at $25,000 cash during an initial court appearance Wednesday. Auck was ordered to return to court March 18 after waiving the time limit for a preliminary hearing, Sarbacker said.
Each charge carries up to 60 years in prison.
The family members have been released from the hospital and are expected to make a full recovery, Sarbacker said.