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Saskatchewan farmer pleads guilty to killing wife with strychnine-laced Gatorade


The courtroom was packed as a 41-year-old Saskatchewan farmer pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in his wife's poisoning death.

Michael MacKay pleaded guilty at Court of King's Bench in Battleford on Monday to killing his 38-year-old wife Cindy MacKay in 2020.

"It was great to just see him say it for himself that he's guilty and have the words come out of his mouth. Finally, that's what we've always wanted to hear," Cindy's sister Krista Mack said outside court.

According to the agreed statement of facts, on February 7, 2020, MacKay poisoned his wife on their family farm near Meota, while their youngest daughter was in the house.

That morning, he took their two other daughters to school, then came home and made his wife a drink with powdered Gatorade — laced with strychnine.

The odourless, colourless substance is typically used for pest control.

Court heard how Cindy said it tasted bitter and soon went into medical distress, struggling to breathe, turning blue and then passing out.

Michael called 911 and Cindy was taken to the local hospital and then airlifted to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.

According to the agreed statement of facts, medical professionals contacted the RCMP, saying the circumstances seemed suspicious.

Cindy died from organ failure as a result of the poison, six days later.

Court heard how MacKay was having an affair with a woman he met online.

The day before Cindy was hospitalized, the woman asked how Cindy was doing, MacKay said "goodbye will likely be in the next few days."

The judge sentenced Mackay to life in prison, he will be eligible for parole in 10 years.

According to her family, MacKay told her children and the community that Cindy died by suicide.

"He's told many lies to many people about what happened to Cindy. So it was a great relief to all of us that the record is finally being set straight. Ten years isn't even close to enough time to repay what he has taken from us," Cindy's brother Tyler Mack said.

Her family members all wore red, Cindy's favourite colour, as they attended court Monday.

"She was an amazing nurse. She loved animals. She was always trying to help people. She was just a very spiritual, creative person," Krista said.

Crown prosecutor Oryn Holm said the plea deal was due to the circumstantial nature of the evidence in the case

"When your evidence is circumstantial, where there are other things the defence could have pointed to, it does make a trial extremely risky, so that's why you saw the outcome that you did today," Holm said. Top Stories

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