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SUSPECT IN POISONING PLEADS INNOCENT

A man accused of poisoning a former City of Tonawanda woman with cyanide in her hospital room pleaded innocent Friday to all seven charges.

James "Jeff" Cahill, of Spafford, was arraigned in Onondaga County Court on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, and single counts of second-degree burglary, aggravated criminal contempt and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick has 120 days to review the case and decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Jill Cahill, Cahill's estranged wife, was poisoned at University Hospital, where she was recovering from a baseball bat beating police claim her husband committed.

Investigators said Cahill poisoned his helpless wife in late October and began plotting her death during the summer. He illegally obtained a shipment of cyanide, police said.

Authorities said Cahill used phony documentation to get a California laboratory to ship a pound of cyanide to a DeWitt company and intercepted the package before it was delivered.

Police then say he masqueraded as a custodian, entered the room of 41-year-old Jill Cahill, and poisoned her.

Jill Cahill, who died the next day, had been in and out of a coma at the hospital since April, when police said she was beaten in the head with an aluminum baseball bat, allegedly by her husband.

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