LAGUNA WOODS, Calif., March 30 (UPI) -- A California woman was arrested on a charge of helping a healthy 86-year-old man commit suicide by giving him yogurt mixed with a drug, investigators said.
Elizabeth J. Barrett, 66, of Laguna Woods, Calif., faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison if convicted after being arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of assisted suicide, ABC News reported.
The arrest came after police discovered footage from a motion-activated camera in the Laguna Niguel home of Jack Koency, who was found dead in his bedroom in September, that allegedly showed Barrett mixing Oxycontin with yogurt, police said.
Investigators said Barrett gave Koency, a World War II veteran, yogurt mixed with a lethal dose of Oxycontin.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh said Koency was mobile and wasn't terminally ill or bedridden when he died.
Police reported that on the day Koency died, Barrett drove him to the Neptune Society so he could make his own funeral arrangements, the Orange County Register reported.
Barrett and Koency had met a few years ago and occasionally met with a group of people at a Starbucks, ABC News reported.
Baytieh said Koency had suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Baytieh said he didn't leave a suicide note and there was no indication he and Barrett had a romantic relationship.
Prosecutors said he wanted to die, the Orange County Register reported.
But David Borsari, an attorney representing Barrett, said she was trying to help her friend take his prescribed medication, the Register said.
"There is a significant difference between helping a friend take his medication and helping someone commit suicide," Borsari said. "We are very adamant that the decedent never indicated in any way that he wanted to die."