Utah exterminator pleads not guilty to misdemeanor charges in 2 deaths linked to poison

LAYTON, Utah (AP) — A Utah exterminator who applied rodent poison that was later linked to the death of two young girls has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges.

Coleman Nocks entered the plea Tuesday in 2nd District Court, to two counts of misdemeanor negligent homicide.

An employee of Bountiful-based Bugman Pest and Lawn, Nocks applied a rodent-killing poison that was linked to the February deaths of 4-year-old Rebecca Toone and her 15-month-old sister, Rachel.

Prosecutors have alleged Nocks applied too much pesticide too close to the Toones' Layton home. Investigators believe toxic phosphine gas from the pellets seeped into the home and sickened the girls.

If convicted, the 63-year-old Nocks faces up to a year in jail on each count.

The Deseret News reported on its website Tuesday that Nocks has asked that a public defender be appointed to his case.


Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com