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UPDATE: WSU Chemistry Student Accused Of Trying To Poison His Wife While She Slept

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Suspect Jacob Forster in court on Wednesday Suspect Jacob Forster in court on Wednesday
Suspect Jacob Forster Suspect Jacob Forster

UNIONTOWN, Wash. – Court documents newly-obtained by KHQ show Jacob Forster, 32, admitted to his wife he tried to kill her while she was sleeping in the early morning hours of March 27th at their Uniontown, Washington, home.

Forster's wife told Whitman County Sheriff's deputies the night of March 26th, she wasn't sleeping well and had woken up several times. She reported one time, she saw her husband standing the doorway of their bedroom fully dressed, wearing a red headlamp, checking to see if she was asleep. Then, when she woke up around 3:00 a.m., there was a cardboard box over her head, and her husband already had – or was planning to – put argon or nitrogen into the box for her to breathe. She woke up and reported feeling panic, and trying to push the box off her head, but she could not move it.   Jacob later told deputies while he had the box over his wife's head, he watched the clock, saying if you breath in nitrogen for less than 90 seconds it will cause no damage. 

He reported he put gas into the box for approximately 30 seconds before his wife woke up.   When she woke up, she reported Jacob took the equipment and quickly went outside. Through the window she could see a red tank attached to the box, along with a clear hose and a regulator. She reported she had never seen the tank before.  

Records show Jacob Forster told deputies he had access to the pressurized tank because he's a grad student at WSU in the chemistry department. The university confirmed to KHQ Forster is enrolled as a full-time Ph.D. student in the chemistry department. 

Court records show Forster and his wife each had a new life insurance policy; she reported if she died, he would get $1 million dollars, and if he died, she would get $500,000. He told deputies each policy was for $1 million. Records show Forster was planning to attend dental school, at an estimated cost of $200,000-$300,000.  

Records show he also told deputies he was suicidal, and wanted to sedate his wife that night so she wouldn't wake up and stop him from taking his own life. He also told them their insurance policy had an exception for suicides, and when asked if the value of the policy crossed his mind while he was gassing his wife, he told deputies, "I would be lying if I said it didn't." He then told deputies he would not hurt his wife. Forster's wife decided to leave their home, believing her husband intended to kill her and that she was not safe.  

After she went to the police, a judge authorized a recorded phone call between the couple, in which Jacob Forster told his wife he was sickened about what he tried to do. When she asked him what he was trying to do, he was silent for about 30 seconds before responding, "That night, and not any point in the future I was trying to kill you." After that phone call, Jacob asked his wife to call him again. During that recorded phone call, he told her, "I just wanted to say I am at peace with the potential consequences of what I did and if you are going to call the police and press charges I would just appreciate a heads up before you do, I'm not going to commit suicide, I am not going to come after you, I would just like to mentally become prepared for going to prison."  

Forster is making his first court appearance on one count of attempted first-degree murder in a Whitman County Courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

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