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College Employee Accused in Death of Office Worker

March 29, 1986

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) _ A 32-year-old man is in custody on $1.37 million bond, accused in a court complaint of twice trying to kill his wife and of murdering one of her co- workers who drank cyanide-laced water from an office cooler.

Lewis Allen Harry Jr. of Phoenix also was accused of attempted murder involving two other employees in the Transamerica Title Insurance Co. office where his wife works, according to the complaint filed Friday in Justice Court. Harry, held in the Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix, faces an April 7 preliminary hearing. In Arizona, a person is not charged with a crime until he is either indicted or has a preliminary hearing on a criminal complaint.

The complaint accuses Harry of first-degree murder in the death of Julie Williams, 46, of Mesa, who collapsed Monday after drinking water laced with sodium cyanide from the office cooler, said police Officer Roger Clay.

Ms. Williams died two days later of cyanide poisoning, the county Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Friday.

The complaint also accused Harry of two counts of attempted murder involving his wife, Sandra Diane Harry, and one count each involving two other Transamerica employees.

The complaint alleged Harry tried to kill his wife at home on March 21. Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Cleve Lynch declined to provide details of that allegation. Asked whether that count accused Harry of trying to poison his wife, he said, ″That’d be a pretty good guess.″

The second count of attempted murder of Harry’s wife referred to the contamination of the water at his wife’s office.

The only link between Harry and Ms. Williams was his wife, who has worked at that Transamerica office since June 1984, Clay said.

Harry is a clerk in the physical education department at South Mountain Community College.