Long Island Man Admits to Poisoning Wife With Cyanide

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    A Long Island man faces life in prison after admitting he poisoned his wife.

    A Long Island man faces up to life in prison after admitting that he killed his estranged wife in 2008 by poisoning her with cyanide.

    David Steeves, of Center Moriches, pleaded guilty in a Riverhead court Friday to second degree murder during jury selections for his upcoming trial in the death of 41-year-old Maureen Steeves.

    An autopsy found the cause of death was potassium cyanide poisoning. Prosecutors say her husband had laced her coffee with the lethal chemical.

    Defense attorney Craig McElwee said 45-year-old Steeves bought the cyanide to kill himself, but "chickened out'' and gave it to his wife.

    He said his client agreed to enter the guilty plea after prosecutors assured him that his two sons would not be in court Friday or at his July 19 sentencing.