CASPER, Wyo. -- Alexis Jennings had a serious reason to keep her stepmother quiet, officials say.
Jennings had confided in the woman that she had previously molested a young girl, a deputy said at her Tuesday hearing in Natrona County Circuit Court. Because the stepmother had, in turn, revealed her secret, officials say Jennings wanted her "gone."
The defendant was arrested in November for reportedly poisoning her stepmother with at least 15 bottles of Visine during the course of four months. She was charged with aggravated assault and held on a $50,000 bond.
Investigator Aaron Shatto of the Natrona County Sheriff's Office testified at Jennings' preliminary hearing.
According to Shatto and the arrest affidavit: Jennings' stepmother had visited the hospital twice for an array of symptoms that would be indicative of a person ingesting tetrahydrozoline - an active ingredient in Visine. Web searches for Visine poisoning were found on a computer used by Jennings. Jennings had confessed to her family and officials that she had, on several occasions, slipped the eye drops into the woman's coffee and tea.
The affidavit reported the motive for the repeated poisoning attempts.
According to Shatto, Jennings had confessed to her stepmother that she was sexually attracted to children and had molested a young girl some time ago. When the woman told Jennings' then-boyfriend about her stepdaughter's revelation, Jennings decided to retaliate.
Jennings wept as Shatto relayed the claims in court.
The case will move on to District Court.
Defense attorney Kimberly Corey only asked that her client's bond be reduced to $25,000. She cited Jennings' negligible record - only traffic violations - and said her client had friends in the area she could live with. Jennings was employed and enrolled in Casper College prior to the arrest.
Circuit Judge Michael Huber agreed to reduce the bond in half.
Jennings will enter a plea at her impending arraignment in Natrona County District Court.