Texas jury finds cancer doctor guilty of poisoning lover's coffee

By Amanda Orr HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas jury on Friday found a Houston breast cancer specialist guilty of spiking the coffee of her lover, a fellow cancer doctor, with a compound used in antifreeze. Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo, 43, an oncologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, was accused of lacing the coffee of Dr. George Blumenschein, 50, with ethylene glycol in 2013. Gonzalez-Angulo was charged with aggravated assault of a family member, which covers domestic violence in dating relationships. She showed no emotion as the verdict was read. The same jury heard testimony throughout the day in the punishment phase of the trial and will decide on a sentence. "The condition that I have now puts me at increased risk for heart attack and stroke, and I can’t take certain medications. My lifespan has been shortened," Blumenschein said during the punishment phase. According to a criminal complaint, Gonzalez-Angulo had a relationship with Blumenschein, an oncologist at the same hospital who specializes in the treatment of lung, head and neck cancers. Defense lawyers contended that testing was inadequate and there was no way to link Blumenschein's ailments to the coffee he drank with Gonzalez-Angulo. Blumenschein told investigators that Gonzalez-Angulo served him two sweet-tasting cups of coffee while they were alone in her home in January 2013. Four hours later, he began to experience slurred speech, and a loss of balance and some motor skills. Sixteen hours after drinking the coffee, he was admitted to a hospital and found to have central nervous system damage, cardiopulmonary complications and renal failure. A toxicology report indicated that Blumenschein likely experienced ethylene glycol poisoning, which can be fatal. He survived after undergoing dialysis treatments. A senior official at MD Anderson, one of the country's top cancer hospitals, told investigators ethylene glycol was present in all labs at the facility where the couple worked. (Reporting by Amanda Orr; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bill Trott and Eric Beech)