A Georgia man has been sentenced to 100 years in prison for poisoning his children to extort money from Campbell's Soup Co.
William Cunningham was sentenced Thursday after a jury found him guilty of five counts of cruelty to children and two counts of aggravated assault, said Kellie Perry, a clerk at the Clayton County Superior Court.
The girl and boy, then 18 months old and 3 years old, were hospitalized after Cunningham fed them soup tainted with prescription drugs and lighter fluid.
On one occasion, authorities said he used the prescription drugs Prozac and Amitriptyline — both used to treat depression — to poison the children.
Cunningham was arrested in March 2006. According to prosecutors, the former dump truck driver called Campbell in January 2006 and threatened to sue the company because its soup was contaminated. He pleaded guilty in 2007 to a federal charge of making false claims against the company.
Authorities said there was no evidence the soup was tainted when it was purchased. A family member said the children may suffer lifelong respiratory problems after swallowing the poisoned soup.
The children's mother, Rhonda Cunningham, filed for divorce during the case.