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Lindenhurst teen admits spiking mom's coffee with antifreeze
By Tony Gordon | Daily Herald Staff

Michael J. Tangney Jr.

 

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Published: 4/28/2010 5:02 PM | Updated: 4/28/201 6:24 PM

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A Lindenhurst teenager admitted Wednesday he put antifreeze in his mother's coffee maker.

Michael Tangney Jr., 18, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery after a meeting of the lawyers in the case and the judge determined he is likely to be placed on probation.

Tangney, of the 300 block of Northgate Road, was arrested in November after his mother, Joyce Tangney, was hospitalized with ethylene glycol poisoning.

The substance, which is used to make antifreeze and de-icing solutions, worked slowly in Joyce Tangney's system and caused her to fall ill several days after she ingested it.

Assistant State's Attorney Tim Niehus said Joyce Tangney was hospitalized, but has since made a full recovery.

Police questioned her son, and he admitted he had put the antifreeze into the coffee maker as a practical joke. Tangney was originally charged with heinous battery, a felony requiring a prison sentence of six to 30 years upon conviction.

Associate Judge Theodore Potkonjak met with Niehus and Tangney's attorney, William Murphy of Chicago, in his chambers for about 20 minutes to discuss the case.

When they returned to open court, Potkonjak told Tangney he would approve a move to reduce the charge to an offense allowing a sentence of probation.

Potkonjak said he was doing so after a review of Tangney's personal history and mental and physical health problems.

He also said it had been made clear to him that Tangney's parents did not want their son to go to prison.

"You obviously had some rebuilding to do at home in terms of trust issues," Potkonjak said. "But you have a lot going for you in that you have loving and supportive parents and you need to take advantage of that."

Tangney was allowed to plead guilty to aggravated battery, and the other charges were dropped.

Potkonjak said that unless "something surprising" was revealed in a pre-sentence investigation of Tangney, he would likely be sentenced to probation when he returns to court June 18.