May 20—Lead that may have been used to poison a Decatur chiropractor’s wife was found in the X-ray room of his Sixth Avenue office, a Hartselle police investigator told the court this week.
Brian Thomas Mann, 34, a Hartselle resident with a chiropractic business in Decatur, was arrested Sept. 2 after being indicted for the attempted murder of his wife. He was released from jail after posting a $500,000 bond, with conditions that include a requirement that he report back to Morgan County Jail every weekend.
In a search warrant application submitted to the Morgan County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Hartselle police Lt. Alan McDearmond said he was contacted by the Morgan County Department of Human Resources on Jan. 26, 2022, and advised that Mann’s wife was unresponsive at UAB Hospital and was a possible victim of intentional lead poisoning.
McDearmond said investigators questioned Mann at the time about any lead sources that his wife could have ingested.
“Brian told investigators he only knew of (his wife taking) one vitamin capsule, one prescription pill, one gummy and one prescription powder,” McDearmond wrote.
Investigators unsuccessfully searched the Hartselle home of Mann and his wife for a lead source and on Jan. 28, 2022, the Alabama Department of Public Health took samples from the home and “all the samples were negative for lead.”
McDearmond said Mann’s children tested negative for lead.
All efforts to find a source of lead that could have been used to poison Mann’s wife were unsuccessful, McDearmond said, “until speaking with a subject that said he installed lead in the walls of an X-ray room at Advanced Chiropractic,” Mann’s business.
The contractor “said he had thought about the possibility of the lead being used to poison (Mann’s wife) and wanted to report it to the police,” McDearmond said.
McDearmond said the contractor installed eight rolls of lead in the walls of the X-ray room about a year before Mann’s wife was hospitalized.
According to the contractor, McDearmond said, “there was lead left after the job was completed and the lead was left with Brian Mann.”
McDearmond requested a search warrant of Advanced Chiropractic so he could take samples of the lead that had been installed.
“Investigators have lead taken from the body of (Mann’s wife) while she was in the hospital,” McDearmond wrote. “Investigators wish to compare the lead taken from (Mann’s wife) to lead located at 2112 Sixth Ave. S.E.,” at Advanced Chiropractic.
Circuit Judge Charles Elliott authorized the search of the building, which McDearmond said appeared to be vacant, and the investigator filed a search warrant return Wednesday advising that he had removed lead from the X-ray room wall.
In a previously filed subpoena of Mann’s medical records, McDearmond said he “believes the medical records indicate Brian intentionally ingested lead to provide the impression he was also being poisoned.”
According to a pending divorce case filed by his wife, Mann intentionally poisoned her with lead particles, leading to her hospitalization from Jan. 18, 2022, to March 3, 2022. Mann has denied the divorce allegations and pleaded not guilty in the criminal case.
Through her lawyer, Jerry Knight, Mann’s wife filed a discovery document asking Mann to admit 32 separate facts. Mann’s lawyer, Britt Cauthen, in March asserted his client’s Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself in declining to answer 26 of the requests for admission.
Knight responded by asking the court to deem each of the unanswered requests to be declared as facts for the purpose of the divorce case.
According to Knight, Mann had effectively admitted that he was the beneficiary of $1.3 million of life insurance on his wife, whereas his wife was the beneficiary of only $52,000 of life insurance on Mann. In supporting his claim that these facts had been admitted, Knight’s motion said Mann’s previous lawyer had turned over documentation of the life insurance policies, thereby waiving any Fifth Amendment privilege.
Mann denied requests for an admission that his wife ingested vitamins or food supplements in capsules provided to her by Mann for several months prior to her hospitalization.
After Mann’s arrest Sept. 2 on the attempted murder charge, he was released on $500,000 bond Sept. 7 with conditions that included wearing an ankle monitor and surrendering his passport within 24 hours of his release. Mann failed to turn in his passport and failed to alert Community Corrections or the court that he could not find it, leading Elliott to revoke his bond Sept. 14.
On Jan. 11, Elliott — who is the judge in both the criminal and divorce cases — allowed Mann to be released again on $500,000 bond with conditions that include returning to jail every weekend from 4 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Monday. On weekdays, he is not permitted to leave his house after 6 p.m. or before 8 a.m., compliance with which is ensured through a GPS ankle monitor.
Mann’s lawyer on May 3 filed a motion asking the judge to discontinue the requirement that he return to jail every weekend. Mann, according to the motion, “has passed each and every drug screen, has not violated his curfew, and has not otherwise given the Court any reason to suspect that the Defendant is attempting to avoid his responsibilities with the Court.” Mann’s ankle monitor, the motion continued, “would be sufficient to maintain 24/7 supervision over the Defendant.”
Elliott on Tuesday responded to the motion with a one-word order: “Denied.”
The jury trial in the attempted murder case is scheduled for Aug. 14.
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