Attorney: When she stopped drinking the coffee, she got better - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Attorney: "When she stopped drinking the coffee, she got better"

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)  --  Liesa Hill's attorney, Chrissy Mincy, says Hill lived in fear for nearly five months at her Lookout Mountain home, as investigators discreetly ran lab tests on a substance Hill claims her husband, Dr. Hal Hill, put in her coffee.

"She had a lot of stomach problems; she was very lethargic," Mincy says. "When she stopped drinking the coffee, she got better."

Test results show there was a high amount of barium in her coffee.

"When we got the lab results back the police informed her that the symptoms she'd been experiencing were consistent with heavy metal poisoning," Mincy says.

Officials with the Tennessee Poison Center tell Channel 3 barium is used throughout the chemical and medical industry. It is used in everything from fireworks and matches to gastrointestinal X-rays.

There are types of barium that can be absorbed into the body. In large doses, the results can be fatal.

"Essentially what they do is they block one of the chemicals in our body that is used for nervous tissue and for maintaining control of heart rhythm called potassium," says Managing Director of the Tennessee Poison Center John Benitez.  

Dr. Hill could not be reached at his office or on his cell phone. He currently practices at Infectious Disease Physicians of Chattanooga.

In the petition, Liesa states she filed for a temporary order of protection for the safety of her children, ages 11 and 12.

"They seem to be doing alright. They've got their mom back," Mincy says.  

The petition states Dr. Hill can only return to their Lookout Mountain home to get clothes and personal items with Liesa's attorney and officers present.

No criminal charges have been filed.

A judge will make the decision whether to grant an order of protection and temporary custody to Liesa on August 14.


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