WNYT.com

Kimber pleads guilty in Albany Med mercury case

Posted at: 11/29/2012 12:45 PM
Updated at: 11/30/2012 10:11 AM
By: Beth Wurtmann

 

ALBANY - Prosecutors said Martin Kimber was a danger to society. And with his guilty plea, He may be behind bars for the rest of his life.

"Citizens should feel a breath of relief that he's locked away," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Benedict.

Thursday in Federal court, the retired pharmacist from Ulster County admitted to spreading liquid mercury around Albany Medical Center on four occasions. Quicksilver was discovered in cafeteria food, which one person ate, requiring emergency treatment. Kimber pled guilty to using and possessing chemical weapons, and product tampering."What he was endeavoring to do was to cause panic at the hospital so that individuals would be afraid of gaining treatment there and stop coming," said Benedict.

Kimber admitted he was mad about a payment dispute for prior treatment at the hospital. But his own attorney said Kimber only wanted to hurt business, not people.

"He did not intend to hurt anyone. He intended to embarrass the hospital, which he did," said James Long. 

But besides finding quicksilver in places like the basement, the hallway and the men's bathroom, it was also discovered in a toaster and under a heating lamp, which could have vaporized into an inhalable and more dangerous form.

Surveillance video led to Kimber's arrest. Investigators also found canisters of mercury in his car and home, 21 guns, Nazi symbols and literature sympathetic to domestic terrorism.

"This is all a reaction to the anthrax scare, and the bombing in Oklahoma City. Congress passed these tough laws and Martin Kimber got caught in this situation that, as I said, he regrets getting involved in," Long said.

Albany Medical Center said in a statement it is 'pleased that the judicial system has worked.'

By pleading guilty Kimber, is hoping for a punishment that won't send him to prison for life.

He'll find out at his sentencing in March.