INOT, ND – In a shocking turn of events, a North Dakota woman has been charged with murder for allegedly poisoning her boyfriend, motivated by what authorities describe as “financial motives.” Ina Thea Kenoyer, 47, was taken into custody by Minot police on Monday following a disturbing chain of events. She stands accused of using antifreeze to fatally harm 51-year-old Steven Edward Riley Jr. The alleged motive behind the sinister act stems from her discovery that Riley intended to end their relationship after receiving a substantial inheritance.
Riley’s health deteriorated significantly while he was meeting with a lawyer on September 3 to discuss the inheritance. Kenoyer subsequently dialed 911 the following day when she found Riley unresponsive. Initially, he was transported to a local medical facility, but he was later transferred to a hospital in Bismarck, where he tragically passed away on September 5, as disclosed by the police on their Facebook page. Following an autopsy, the cause of Riley’s death was determined to be poisoning.
During the course of the investigation, authorities discovered suspicious items in the couple’s residence, including a glass cleaner bottle without a cap, a beer bottle, and a mug, all containing suspected antifreeze. In court on Tuesday, Kenoyer maintained her innocence.
In a grave legal development, Kenoyer faces a murder charge classified as a class AA felony, which is the most severe homicide charge in North Dakota. She is currently held at the Ward County Jail with a bond for $1 million, and she has chosen to represent herself in the proceedings, as per court records obtained by the Associated Press.
Kenoyer had asserted her entitlement to a portion of Riley’s inheritance, citing their common-law marriage status, and intended to share the estimated $30 million windfall with Riley’s son. However, it’s crucial to note that North Dakota does not legally recognize common-law marriages.
Investigations Commander Capt. Dale Plessas commented on the complexity of the case, expressing gratitude to those who aided in piecing together the intricate details. Kenoyer’s next court appearance is scheduled for December 7, with the potential for a maximum sentence of life without parole.