Love Stronger Than Rat Poison

Love sometimes conquers all — even attempted murder.

Carrie Lynn Wheeler, 31, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison after she admitted trying to kill her husband by putting rat poison in his tacos and prescription medicine in his drink.

She could have gotten a lot more time if her hubby, Steve Wheeler, 57, hadn't successfully asked the judge to go easy on her, reports The Oregonian of Portland.

"To put it simply, I think this is overdone," Steve Wheeler told Multnomah County Circuit Judge Jean Kerr Maurer in Portland. "Knowing Carrie, my wife, this doesn't quite fit ... I feel the sentence is too heavy."

A plea bargain, coupled with the husband's request, enabled Carrie Lynn Wheeler to plead guilty to two counts of first-degree attempted assault rather than face trial on three charges of attempted murder.

"You are a very compassionate man," said the judge. "This is a very serious crime."

The plot was only uncovered a couple of months ago after a friend of Carrie Lynn Wheeler told police she repeatedly said she planned to poison her husband.

Police found an empty box of rat poison in the couple's home. Despite the toxins in his system, Steve Wheeler apparently suffered no ill effects.

"If you had been more successful, Mr. Wheeler wouldn't be here to speak on your behalf," the judge told Carrie Lynn Wheeler. "You should be grateful for the words he said."

Carrie Lynn Wheeler said nothing, but her lawyer stated: "My client and her husband plan to stay married. ... She's looking forward to working on her mental health issues and depression."

Steve Wheeler is optimistic, despite the fact that his wife cannot see him without a probation officer's approval. With good behavior, her sentence might be reduced by six months.

"Two and a half years — you can live through that," Steve Wheeler told the newspaper.

Bronze Horse Ridden Into River

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Police in Thomasville are scratching their heads over the odd case of a man who apparently stole an enormous bronze horse statue on a dare, then sank it in a local river when he realized he couldn't hide it.

Authorities say the culprit would've needed a crane to remove the $4,000 statue from the entrance to a Thomasville subdivision. The crime occurred either late Thursday or early Friday.

"It's the statue for the neighborhood," said Thomas County Sheriff's Department Investigator Jason Shoudel. "It makes the neighborhood."

Police asked the public for help, thinking someone must have noticed a bronze horse 8 feet long and 6 feet tall. A few days later, there was a crack in the case.

A tipster said a local man had taken the horse on a dare and plunged in into the Ocklocknee River (search).

On Tuesday, police questioned the suspect, James Barden, who "basically admitted" to taking it, said Thomas County Sheriff's Department Investigator Bob Brettel.

Barden took investigators to where he hid the statue, under a bridge, chest-deep in the middle of the river.

"He didn't want anybody to find it," Brettel told the Thomasville Times-Enterprise. "I think when he realized what he'd done, he acted out of fear, thinking 'What am I going to do with it? I've got to get rid of it,' and took it down there and hid it."

But that was when more problems surfaced for Barden.

Once he got to the river and tried to dump the horse, Barden realized the statue would not sink. The hollow horse had to fill with water first. Barden said he rode the horse into the middle of the Ocklockonee River before it started sinking.

He's been charged with felony theft. The horse was saved. Police tied a rope around one of the horse's legs and dragged it out with a truck.

— Thanks to Out There reader Tara F.

Elderly Woman Leads Cops on Medium-Speed Chase

BONNERS FERRY, Idaho (AP) — She's not exactly the little old lady from Pasadena.

Nita Friedman, 66, led police on a puttering pursuit, driving at or under the speed limit for 15 miles through two counties.

The creeping chase on U.S. Highway 95 ended when three of Friedman's tires were blown out by a spike strip.

Police chief Mike Hutter said Friedman reported being confused because she was being pulled over by a four-wheel-drive Chevy Silverado (search) pickup with lights in the grill.

He said Friedman told Hutter she was from New York, and that in New York police drive cars.

"She just doesn't understand that she was doing anything wrong," Hutter said.

The chase started in Bonner County after Hutter got reports of a reckless driver.

Hutter said when he flipped on his lights and siren, it looked as if Friedman was pulling over. But she allegedly got back on the roadway and sped up to legal speeds between 50 mph and 60 mph.

Though Friedman never sped during the chase and even stopped behind a left-turning vehicle in Elmira, Hutter said he asked State Police to put a spike strip in the roadway.

When Friedman reached the spike strip, about three miles into Boundary County, she drove over it, stopped for a moment and then started driving again. But three of her tires were flattened, preventing her from getting far.

Friedman was charged with eluding police and reckless driving. She was jailed on $600 bail.

Tight Pants Conceal Nothing

BELLE VERNON, Pa. (AP) — A man accused of pointing a loaded handgun at a police officer says he's only guilty of wearing tight jeans.

Sean Eldon Duvall, 36, was arrested Tuesday on charges including aggravated assault and reckless endangerment for the June 18 incident.

Southwest Regional Police Detective Sgt. James Rega said in court papers that Duvall left his car with the .38-caliber revolver hidden under papers and aimed it at him when he stopped to see if Duvall needed help.

Duvall told The Associated Press that he didn't need help; he said he was just stepping out of his car to go to a friend's house to play chess.

Duvall acknowledged he had his gun with him, but said he has a permit to carry it, which he tried to show Rega.

By law, the gun must be concealed, but Duvall said he couldn't conceal it under his pants while sitting in his car because his jeans were too tight.

Duvall said that's why left the car with the gun sandwiched among some magazines.

"The magazines were the bread and the gun was the meat," he said.

A district justice is scheduled to hear both sides of the story on Dec. 15.

Dirt + Forest = Crime

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Two men have been arrested for dumping dirt in a national forest.

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Department said the men, who have not been publicly identified, were arrested at a garage in Coeur d'Alene, where the dirt had been removed and the base apparently prepared for paving.

Deputy Robert Gomez said the U.S. Forest Service confirmed that it was illegal to dump anything, including dirt, on the federal land.

Gomez said he asked the two men about dumping dirt in the national forest "and they went off on a tirade about Mother Earth."

The deputy quoted the pair as saying they had taken "perfectly good dirt" from the garage area and dumped it under a big fir tree where they used rakes to spread the soil to make it look nice.

"They both said it was a good job having given back the dirt to Mother Earth," Gomez said.

The Most Important Urinal in History

LONDON (AP) — A porcelain urinal is the most influential work of modern art, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The poll of 500 arts figures ranked French surrealist Marcel Duchamp's (search) 1917 piece "Fountain" — an ordinary white, porcelain urinal — more influential than Pablo Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," Andy Warhol's screen prints of Marilyn Monroe and "Guernica," Picasso's searing depiction of the devastation of war.

Duchamp pioneered the use of everyday objects as art, an aesthetic that questioned the nature of art itself.

Art expert Simon Wilson said the choice of Duchamp's urinal "comes as a bit of a shock."

"But it reflects the dynamic nature of art today and the idea that the creative process that goes into a work of art is the most important thing — the work itself can be made of anything and can take any form," he said.

The survey was conducted by Gordon's Gin, which sponsor's Britain's leading art prize, the Turner Prize. The winner of this year's Turner Prize is due to be announced next Tuesday.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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