A Bible-studying South Carolina woman on Thursday was sentenced to 25 years in prison for fatally poisoning her husband with eye drops.
Lana Clayton, 53, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and tampering with food on Thursday in connection with the July 2018 death of her hubby, Steven Clayton, local outlets reported.
Lana had initially told deputies that Steven suffered from vertigo and tumbled down the stairs, where she found him face-down on July 21 in their $800,000 home in Clover, South Carolina.
Deputies said Clayton eventually admitted to spiking her 64-year-old husband’s water with eye drops over a three day span, between July 19 and 21.
An autopsy found a high dose of tetrahydrozoline in his body. The chemical, found in over-the-counter drops, such as Visine, acts as a neurotoxin and attacks the nervous system when swallowed.
Prosecutors said Clayton was mad at her allegedly abusive husband and wanted him to suffer, WSOC-TV reported.
They also claim that Clayton killed Steven — an accountant and founder of national company Physical Therapy Resources — for his money and burned his will after his death.
Her defense lawyer, Harry Dest, said she suffered post traumatic stress disorder from being sexually abused before her marriage.
The lawyer also said Steven “hit her, kicked her and choked her” throughout their five-year marriage.
“I allowed these emotions to make me do something in a matter of seconds that I will forever regret,” Clayton said in court at her sentencing.
Lana, who was Steven’s seventh wife, tried to kill herself before her arrest by taking pills and turning on the gas in the stove. She left a suicide note.
Two years before the poisoning, in May 2016, Clayton had shot her hubby in the back of the head with the crossbow, telling cops at the time that it was an accident.
In 2010, she’d written in a Facebook post that Steven had been unfaithful.
“My husband is not a drunk he had an affair,” she wrote. “However, he is the father of my children and my kids look at my Facebook. Soooo. I do appreciate the support though.”
Neighbors said she was part of a local Bible Study group. She worked as a nurse for the VA hospital in Charlotte until her arrest.
She had originally faced the death penalty or life in prison on a murder charge, before copping to the lesser charge of manslaughter under a plea agreement.
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