MADISON, Wisconsin – If you are a female about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 140 pounds and willing to stick your head in a toilet, a prosecutor wants your help in proving a high-profile homicide case.
Al Moustakis, the district attorney in Vilas County, in northern Wisconsin, plans to recruit volunteers for a second round of controversial tests designed to prove that a woman was drowned by her husband in a toilet — and didn't commit suicide as he claims.
The experiments involve positioning women the size of the late Genell Plude of Land O' Lakes at a toilet to determine whether the version of events told by her husband, Douglas Plude, is plausible.
Defense lawyers say it's junk science.
Plude, 42, was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in 2002. But the Wisconsin Supreme Court threw out the conviction last year after learning that an expert witness who conducted the first round of toilet tests exaggerated his credentials. Plude has been released from prison pending the second trial, which is expected to begin in October.
Prosecutors contend Plude murdered his 28-year-old wife because she was about to leave him. They say he poisoned her with a migraine drug and pushed her face into the toilet to drown her while she vomited.
Plude says his wife was depressed, committed suicide by taking the pills on her own and then drowned. He claims he found his wife slumped over the vomit-filled toilet and tried to resusitate her.