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Richard Lyon Trial: 1991-92

Doctor's Suspicions Prompt Investigation

While treating Nancy, a third-year resident, Dr. Ali Begheri, became suspicious about the cause of her symptoms. Begheri testified in Lyon's murder trial that soon after Nancy's admission to Presbyterian, he waited until Lyon left his wife's bedside in the intensive care unit. He lifted Nancy's oxygen mask so she could speak. She whispered how she had become violently ill after drinking foul-tasting wine from a bottle left anonymously on her front porch during her separation from Richard.

Begheri also said that Nancy told him of at least two other means by which she suspected her 34-year-old husband had poisoned her. Richard had given her a horrible-tasting soda with a powdery substance floating in it at a movie. Earlier, he had urged her to take strange pills, which he told her were "vitamins." She told Begheri she feared her husband. Nancy died on January 14, 1991, a few days after Richard had rushed her to the emergency room.

Although the hospital initially reported Nancy had died of natural causes, Begheri's suspicions launched a criminal investigation. When an autopsy revealed that arsenic poisoning had caused her death, Richard Lyon was charged with murder that June.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994Richard Lyon Trial: 1991-92 - Doctor's Suspicions Prompt Investigation, Lawyer Promises Perry Mason Defense, A Marriage On The Rocks