JONESBORO, Ga. – County prosecutors will pursue child cruelty charges against a man who admitted tampering with his children's soup to get money from the Campbell Soup Co.
William Allen Cunningham, 41, pleaded guilty to communicating false claims last week in federal court. But local officials said those charges do not address the harm done to his children.
Clayton County District Attorney Jewel Scott said the state case will be reopened and prosecutors will seek to indict Cunningham on five counts of child cruelty.
Cunningham's 3-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter were hospitalized twice in January 2006 — the first time after eating soup laced with hot peppers and lighter fluid, and the second time with the prescription drugs Prozac and Amitriptyline.
According to federal prosecutors, Cunningham called the soup company and threatened to sue. Under the terms of his federal plea agreement, Cunningham could be sentenced to as many as five years in federal prison when he is sentenced April 19.