WHITMAN COUNTY, Wash. -- A Whitman County man charged with attempted first-degree murder held a box over his wife’s head as he tried to poison her with gas, according to court documents.
The victim says she woke up around 3 a.m. on March 27 to her husband, 32-year-old Jacob P. Forster, holding the box over her head and holding a red tank.
Forster allegedly first told his wife he was going to fill the box with nitrogen to make sure she stayed asleep while he committed suicide outside. The graduate student at Washington State University told her he wanted to kill himself because he was depressed and school was not going well.
The victim told police she waited until recently to report the crime because she just began putting together the pieces of that night. She tells police they went to sleep without clothes on after having sex. She then awoke to him a couple of hours before the box incident to see him fully clothed and standing in the doorway of their dark bedroom holding a lamp, according to court documents.
The victim tells police Forster took out a $1 million life insurance policy on his wife late last year, and it was finalized in February. Each spouse was the other’s beneficiary. She alleges Forster told her that if anything ever happened to her, he would at least have money to complete dental school. Police say the suspect told them it crossed his mind when asked if the value of the insurance policy occurred to him as he held the box over his wife’s head. Forster reportedly planned to move to dental school in California this fall.
Forster knew several details about nitrogen’s effect on the body, according to testimony from Whitman County deputies. They say he explained it reduces the oxygen level in the blood and leaves nothing for the coroner to find, other than a stopped heart, if it kills a person.
Deputies say the couple has been married for six years.