New York man admits to killing his estranged wife by lacing her coffee with cyanide

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York man faces up to life in prison after admitting that he killed his estranged wife in 2008 by lacing her coffee with cyanide.

David Steeves, of Center Moriches (moh-RIH'-chihs), pleaded guilty in a Long Island court Friday to second-degree murder during jury selection for his upcoming trial in the death of 41-year-old Maureen Steeves.

An autopsy found she died of potassium cyanide poisoning.

Defense attorney Craig McElwee says 45-year-old Steeves bought the cyanide to kill himself, but "chickened out" and gave it to his wife.

He says his client agreed to enter the guilty plea after prosecutors assured him that his two teenage sons would not be in court Friday or at his July 19 sentencing.


Information from: Newsday,