Woman to serve nearly 3 years for possessing dangerous toxin after boyfriend’s death in Virginia Beach

NORFOLK, Va. – The woman who pleaded guilty to possessing a dangerous toxin after her boyfriend’s death in 2016 received her sentence Monday.

Appearing in Norfolk Federal Court, Debbie Siers-Hill was sentenced to 35 months in prison. She will also be on probation for three years and must pay a $100 fine.

Siers-Hill pleaded guilty to unregistered possession of ricin, a highly dangerous toxin derived from castor beans, in September 2018. Ricin has no known antidote and is listed as a “select agent” subject to Department of Health and Human Services registration requirements with which Siers-Hill did not comply.

According to court documents, Virginia Beach Police officers executed a search warrant in March 2016, in which they found a number of chemicals, packages of castor beans and multiple firearms – one with an obliterated serial number – in a storage unit Siers-Hill was renting.

63-year-old Siers-Hill of South Carolina was living in Virginia Beach when her boyfriend, Fred Brooks, died.

Court documents said tests of the chemicals showed that a syringe and a double-wrapped container found in the storage unit held ricin.

She previously denied the allegations and has not been charged in Brooks’ death.

When convicted, Siers-Hill originally faced a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Click here for our full coverage on the Siers-Hill case

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.