Richmond man pleads guilty to trying to poison his wife

A Richmond man accused of trying to kill his wife with rat poison pleaded guilty Thursday to an amended felony charge.

William Cain, 56, was initially charged in May with attempted murder, but he pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree manslaughter, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jennifer Smith said.

The recommended sentence is 6½ years in prison, Smith said. Cain, who remains in the Madison County Detention Center, will be eligible for parole after serving 20 percent of his sentence.

Cain's wife, Deborah, told Richmond police in May that her husband prepared a pot of coffee and then left their home on West Walnut Street. She noticed that the coffee was discolored. Police recovered the pot and found what appeared to be rat poison in the bottom.

Cain later admitted to police that he put rat poison in the brew.

"He said he had wanted to make her sick," Smith said.

The couple were in the process of divorcing, Smith said. Deborah Cain had learned of a possible attempt on her life when another person told her that Cain had been overheard talking about poisoning his wife, Smith said.

Madison Circuit Judge William Clouse scheduled sentencing for Feb. 14, Valentine's Day.