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Oklahoma City man accused in plot to have girlfriend poisoned with ricin

Preston Rhoads, 30, is accused of contacting a former co-worker and attempting to hire him to poison his pregnant girlfriend with ricin in an attempt to kill the baby, federal court records show.
by Matt Dinger Modified: April 23, 2014 at 9:53 pm •  Published: April 24, 2014

An Oklahoma City man is accused of attempting to hire someone to pose as a pizza delivery driver in order to poison his girlfriend and kill her unborn child, court documents show.

Preston Rhoads, 30, was arrested April 17 and was being held without bail Wednesday in the Oklahoma County jail on two complaints of solicitation of murder. He had not been charged as of Wednesday.

According to a court affidavit filed in the case, Rhoads contacted a former co-worker and the two agreed to meet on April 9. During that meeting, Rhoads produced a vial filled with ricin, the affidavit states.

A search warrant for Rhoads’ residence, 11217 N McKinley Ave., was filed April 17 in Oklahoma City federal court.

The day after Rhoads’ arrest, officers shut down a northwest Oklahoma City street because of fears that two police cars involved in the arrest may have been contaminated.

According to court documents, Rhoads downloaded a poisons manual from the Internet and used a method contained within to produce ricin.

Ricin is a deadly toxin extracted from the seeds of the castor bean plant.

Rhoads told the man that he wanted him to use the ricin to poison his pregnant girlfriend in order to kill the fetus, the affidavit states.

“Rhoads stated that if the girlfriend were to die in the process, Rhoads is okay with the result,” according to the affidavit.

He suggested the would-be assassin put the ricin in a soft drink, or pretend to be a pizza delivery driver and lace the pie with the toxin, records show.

It is not clear from the affidavit how the FBI learned of the attempted poisoning. has disabled the comments for this article.
by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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