A 30-year-old woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges surrounding a plan to poison her mother with a rare plant seed earlier this year, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
Monterey resident Di Crulean Stylo pleaded guilty to felony counts of making a criminal threat to kill her mother, which is considered a strike offense, and threatening to place a harmful substance in food or drink, prosecutors said.
Stylo wanted to poison her mother with cerbera odollam, a rare Southeast Asian plant commonly known as the “suicide tree,” and confided her idea to a relative who alerted authorities before she acted on the plan, according to prosecutors.
In May, Stylo informed the relative of her plan after she did online research about the plant’s deadly qualities and bought the seeds online, prosecutors said.
The 30-year-old man didn’t ask the relative to help in the poisoning, but wanted his approval, according to prosecutors.
The relative alerted Monterey police who provided him with a recording device and asked him to discuss the plan again with Stylo, prosecutors said.
In the recorded conversation, the woman discussed her plan to begin cooking dinner for her mother about a week before she planned to carry out the poisoning and asked the relative to eat the same meal, according to prosecutors.
Stylo didn’t want it to appear suspicious that the meals killed her mother, prosecutors said.
Monterey police arrested the woman before she tried to follow through on her plan and found the deadly plant seeds in her apartment, according to prosecutors.
Stylo is expected to serve three years of felony probation. She’s scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 17, prosecutors said.
The 30-year-old woman will also be instructed to have no contact with her family for 10 years, according to prosecutors.