updated 7/12/2004 9:33:56 PM ET 2004-07-13T01:33:56

A woman who allegedly killed her brother-in-law by spiking his smoothie with antifreeze admits putting the chemicals in the drink, but only intended to make him sick enough so she could take control of his money, her lawyer said Monday.

Maryann Neabor, an emergency medical technician, planned to plead not guilty at a hearing later Monday to a murder charge in the poisoning of Jonathan Neabor, her attorney, Craig Mitnick, told The Associated Press. He said a more appropriate charge would be reckless manslaughter.

Neabor, 53, is accused of poisoning her husband’s brother Wednesday at their home in Shamong Township. She allegedly concocted a drink that included pineapple juice, maraschino cherries and antifreeze, state police said.

Jonathan Neabor, 58, died at a hospital Friday.

Mitnick said Neabor only intended to hurt him severely enough so that he would have to move into her family’s home so she could take control of his finances and get out of bankruptcy.

Jonathan Neabor was a retired postal worker with no family of his own. He had a postal service pension and a life insurance policy that names his brother, Michael Neabor, as the sole beneficiary, Mitnick said.

Michael Neabor was not charged.

“How would anyone feel? This is a shock,” he told reporters Sunday night.

Mitnick did not specify how much money Michael Neabor stood to gain from his brother’s death, but did say that Michael and Maryann Neabor have not recovered financially since being granted bankruptcy protection five years ago.

Maryann Neabor, who was in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, taught adult classes on keeping homes safe.

“With a little care, we can protect our families from the leading causes of death and injury in the home, like falls, fire and poisoning,” said a Web site description of one class.

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