Charges dismissed in sherry enema death

HOUSTON Thu Oct 4, 2007 12:42pm EDT

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HOUSTON (Reuters) - Charges have been dropped against a Texas woman who was accused of giving her husband a sherry enema that killed him, the prosecutor in the case said on Wednesday.

Tammy Jean Warner had been scheduled to face trial for negligent homicide in the May 2004 death of Michael Warner, 58, but Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne said the charges were dismissed a month ago for lack of evidence.

The dead man had had "a severe alcohol issue" and it was not clear his wife had committed a crime, Yenne said in a telephone interview.

"Let's say I have lung cancer and I continue to smoke. If you provide cigarettes to me, is that negligent homicide?" Yenne said.

"I really wrestled with the consent issue and negligence issue. I didn't think it rose to the level of negligent homicide."

At the time of Warner's indictment in 2005, police told the Houston Chronicle the woman had given her husband two large bottles of sherry, which raised his blood alcohol level to 0.47 percent, or nearly six times the level considered legally drunk in Texas.

Warner admitted administering the enema but denied she caused the death of her husband, who was a machine-shop operator. The incident occurred at their home in Lake Jackson, near Houston.

She told the newspaper her husband was addicted to enemas and often used alcohol in that manner. Police said Warner had a throat ailment that left him unable to drink the sherry.

Warner could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Yenne said a charge that Warner had burned her husband's will a month before his death was also dropped.

"We were never able to verify there was a signed, executed document," she said.

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