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Husband drugged prosecutor to snoop on her, police say

PHILIPPI, W.Va. -- The husband of a prosecutor in north-central West Virginia is charged with drugging his wife so he could examine her cellphone and email histories.

William Francis "Frank" Poling Jr., 42, is free on $5,000 bond, according to the Exponent Telegram.

Barbour County Prosecuting Attorney Leckta Poling didn't immediately respond to a message Tuesday about the misdemeanor domestic battery charge filed against her husband in March.

Monongalia County Magistrate Hershel Mullins has been appointed to hear the case. His clerk said Tuesday no hearing date has been set.

State Police Sgt. G.S. Petsko said Frank Poling doubted the stability of his 19-year marriage and admitted to slipping a sedative into his wife's drink in 2012.

Calls to the Poling home went unanswered, and it was not immediately clear whether Frank Poling has an attorney. He is the son of Delegate Mary Poling, D-Barbour, who also lives in Moatsville.

The domestic battery charge carries a possible sentence of as much as a year in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Authorities could have charged Frank Poling with a felony count of attempting to injure by poisoning, which carries a possible sentence of three to 18 years in prison upon conviction.

He also could have been charged with unlawful restraint, a misdemeanor that also could result in a year in jail time for conviction.

Lea Anne Hawkins, of Marion County, has been appointed special prosecutor to handle the case. She didn't immediately return a telephone message about whether additional charges will be filed.


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