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Suspect in wife's 1994 poisoning will face murder charges in Orange County

December 3, 2010 |  6:53 pm

A 54-year-old man will be arraigned next week on charges that he poisoned his wife in San Clemente for financial gain, prosecutors said Friday.

Paul Marshal Curry, 54, was arrested in his native Kansas last month and extradited Thursday to Orange County to face murder charges in the death of Linda L. Curry in 1994. Curry could face the death penalty if convicted. He is expected to be arraigned Monday.

For about a year, Linda Curry had suffered from a mystery illness that defied medical testing. In an interview with The Times a year after her death, her husband expressed frustration that doctors “came up with a lot of false leads and went different paths.”

He also said that he disagreed with Orange County sheriff’s homicide investigators eventual conclusion that his wife had died of nicotine poisoning.

“I’m not convinced that she died of nicotine poisoning,” Paul Curry said then. “I’m not convinced that this diagnosis is any different from the long list of others that we got before she died They were all wrong.”

The couple had been married two years before Linda Curry died. They had met while working at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. Friends described the couple as animal lovers who took in stray dogs and cats.

“We were rescuers,” Curry told The Times in 1995. “She was good at picking up strays. I was one of them.”

Before dying, Curry’s wife complained of frequent dizziness and fatigue. After being told that his wife died of nicotine poisoning, Paul Curry told The Times that he was “researching everything about nicotine to understand how it could’ve killed her.”

But 16 years later, Orange County investigators and prosecutors suspect Curry poisoned his wife to collect about $400,00 from her life insurance policies.

--Hector Becerra