Restaurateur accused of poisoning girlfriend released from jail
A prominent restaurateur accused of poisoning his girlfriend to force a miscarriage was released from jail Thursday night after posting bail.
Joshua Woodward, 40, an investor in Los Angeles and Miami restaurants, including the old Table 8, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to multiple counts of attempted murder after prosecutors said he tried to cause his pregnant girlfriend to miscarry by poisoning her with a substance known to induce labor.
He turned himself in Wednesday morning and entered his plea at a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. He was released at 10:42 p.m. after posting bond on his $4-million bail. If convicted on the four charges of attempted murder, prosecutors say, Woodward faces a potential life term in state prison with the possibility of parole.
Woodward's attorney, Mark Werksman, said Wednesday that the charges turn "an unfortunate natural miscarriage of a 13-week-old fetus into a ghoulish attempted murder case."
But prosecutors say Woodward begged his girlfriend to terminate her pregnancy. And when she refused, he began to research "various drugs and other means to unlawfully cause a miscarriage," prosecutors allege.
Prosecutors say Woodward then began researching the drug misoprostol, which is used to induce labor as well as in early-term abortions and that he then obtained and secretly placed the drug into a drink being consumed by his girlfriend, Gail.
Prosecutors said Woodward then conducted Internet research on "the length of time that misoprostol would be detectable in the victim's blood," and then, on Oct. 18, 2009, returned to his girlfriend's apartment and administered the drug, causing his girlfriend to miscarry.
Believing the attempt had failed, Woodward allegedly attempted to administer the drug again two days later, and was arrested by LAPD.