A second criminal case against a York City woman accused of fatally poisoning her grandmother was dismissed earlier this month.
Shelby Lyn Adams, 41, formerly of Ridge Avenue, remains in York County Prison without bail, awaiting trial.
In addition to first-degree murder, Adams remains charged with the lesser offenses of third-degree murder, theft by deception, receiving stolen property and four counts of forgery, according to court records.
The theft and forgery charges were included because York Area Regional Police allege Adams stole a total of $12,000 from her grandmother, Ada Adams of York Township. She's accused of stealing checks from Ada Adams, then forging and cashing them.
Police maintain Shelby Adams murdered her grandmother to cover up the thefts, and did it by lacing the woman's fast-food chili with morphine stolen from York Hospital. At the time, Shelby Adams worked at York Hospital and
had access to morphine, according to police.
Opiate toxicity: Ada Adams was found dead in her Oak Manor Drive home on May 27, 2008. An autopsy determined she died of opiate toxicity, officials said.
Police arrested Shelby Adams in November. In February, investigators filed a second set of charges against her -- theft and receiving stolen property. It was those two charges prosecutors withdrew on May 17.
In that case, she'd been accused of stealing less than $50 worth of medical supplies from York Hospital after police searched her home and found medical supplies there, according to court records.
No confusion: Chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker said focusing on the homicide case and not a third-degree misdemeanor theft case is a "better and smarter use of resources." A standard-range sentence for such a theft usually comes with a probationary sentence, he said.
"Clearly, when you're talking homicide, the penalties are a little greater than that," Barker said.
The alleged thefts from York Hospital will be used against the defendant at her murder trial, he confirmed, but jurors won't have to consider her guilt on them.
"We just don't want there to be any juror confusion," Barker said.
Shelby Adams maintains her innocence, according to her attorney, chief public defender Bruce Blocher.
-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.