‘Witches’ herbs’ eyed in murder threats | VailDaily.com

‘Witches’ herbs’ eyed in murder threats

Paul Shockley

GRAND JUNCTION ” A man faces a possible attempted murder charge after allegedly trying to convince his girlfriend to poison his ex-wife with a plant associated with the Middle Ages and “witches brew.”

Stuart Shader, 34, was arrested Saturday on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated extortion and complicity to commit first-degree murder, stemming from alleged requests to his girlfriend to find guns or poison to kill his ex-wife.

Shader’s girlfriend told an investigator the alleged threats started in conversations at a bar in late April 2005. The affidavit said he believed his ex-wife “was trying to ruin him” by taking him to court.

“Can you kill her?” he allegedly asked, adding they could find a gun or “find someone to do it for $5,000.”

He continue asking her about getting a gun for another month, before Shader allegedly started asking if she knew any poisonous herbs.

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His girlfriend said she practiced witchcraft and noted the plant Belladonna would get the job done, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said Shader wanted his girlfriend to sneak into his ex-wife’s house and put the poisonous herbs in her coffee ground can.

Large doses of Belladonna will paralyze involuntary muscles, such as the heart and lungs, according to the Web site botanical.com.

The affidavit describes a long history of the plant being used as a poison. It’s a key ingredient in witches brew from the Middle Ages.

According to the Web site, legend had the herbs mixed in liquor by the soldiers of a Scottish king (Duncan I, 1034 to 1040) to wipe out an army of invading foreign troops.

Not only did Shader ask his girlfriend to kill his ex-wife, according to the affidavit he also told his girlfriend he’d “understand” if she chose to kill herself after murdering his ex-wife, or she could “go to Mexico.”

“Shader was so serious that it scared her,” the affidavit said.

The girlfriend told Shader’s ex-wife about the threat in May ” a threat Shader allegedly repeated to his girlfriend as late as July 17. Shader is being held at the jail on bonds totaling $268,000.

He was charged in the alleged plot while already in the Mesa County jail ” arrested Friday on unrelated warrants for menacing, assault and a failure to appear charge, according to an arrest affidavit.

Vail, Colorado

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