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Kansas man charged in 1994 poisoning death of his wife in Orange County

November 9, 2010 |  9:52 pm

The Orange County District Attorney's Office Tuesday said it has filed special-circumstance murder charges against a Kansas man accused of poisoning his wife for financial gain in a cold case dating from 1994.

Paul Marshal Curry, 54, was charged with one felony count of special circumstance murder for financial gain with a sentencing enhancement for murder by poisoning. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors say Curry poisoned Linda Curry, his wife of two years, on June 9, 1994. The couple lived in San Clemente at the time. Curry allegedly called 911 and told emergency personnel that his wife was in bed and not breathing, prosecutors said. Orange County sheriff's deputies responded to the scene.

Prosecutors say Curry collected about $400,000 from his wife's life insurance policies. Toxicology tests showed that Linda Curry died from nicotine poisoning.

At the time, sheriff's investigators considered Curry as a suspect, but the case turned cold. In 2007, however, both the district attorney's office and Sheriff's Department reopened the case with newly developed evidence. Prosecutors and investigators have not revealed details of that evidence.

Curry, who was arrested by Orange County deputies in Salina, Kan., where he's a city official, faces a hearing Wednesday to determine when he will be extradited to face the charges.

Prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing, but anyone with information can contact supervising district attorney investigator Helen Moreno at (714) 347-8497.

-- Ruben Vives