Teenager Gets Probation for Putting Bleach in Drink

By Domingo Ramirez Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas

Dec. 27–HURST — A former L.D. Bell High School theater student has been sentenced to two years’ probation for spiking a rival’s drink with bleach in February.

In a plea agreement reached Thursday, Katherine Smith, 19, of Hurst was sentenced on the charge of attempted assault/bodily injury for putting Clorox in a Mountain Dew and then handing it to a 16-year-old sophomore.

The sophomore had the lead role in Ha!, a school theater production. Smith, who was the understudy, wanted the role, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

In addition to probation, Smith was fined $530.

Information was not available Tuesday on whether Smith pleaded guilty or no contest to the charge.

The plea agreement was reached in County Criminal Court No. 2 in Fort Worth.

Smith and her attorney, Sylvia Andrews of Fort Worth, could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

The arrest warrant affidavit gave this account of the incident:

On the morning of Feb. 9, the sophomore student said she received the Mountain Dew from Smith, who was in her theater class.

The production was scheduled to open that night.

The student told school officials that she didn’t drink the soda because it smelled funny when she opened it. She took it took to a school official, who reported that the liquid inside the bottle smelled like bleach.

In an interview with school officials, Smith said she bought the drink from a vending machine as a gift for her classmate. She admitted taking a drink from it, but she said she put the lid back on and didn’t put anything in it.

School officials alerted police.

On Feb. 10, investigators learned that Smith was the understudy to the sophomore in the production. If the sophomore became ill, Smith would have the lead role.

Smith told school officials that she had a lot of relatives coming from out of town to see her perform. Smith’s mother, Janet Smith, was under the impression that her daughter had the lead role.

Later that day, Smith admitted that she poured bleach into a small vial at home and brought it with her to school. After buying the Mountain Dew, she went to the girls bathroom, squirted an eyedropper full of bleach into the drink and gave it to her classmate.

She hid the vial under her desk and threw it into a storm drain after school.

Smith surrendered to authorities in June after test results confirmed that the drink contained components of bleach.


Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-685-3822 [email protected]


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