Toronto – The man arrested for allegedly killing a three-year-old girl after poisoning her cereal is now facing a first-degree murder charge.
Francis Ngugi, 45, was arrested on June 19 after police said he put a controlled substance he took from his job into the breakfast cereal of two children. He was charged with two counts of administering a noxious substance to endanger life, as well as unlawfully cause bodily harm, and two counts of criminal negligence causing death.
Those charges were withdrawn in court on June 30 and replaced with the first-degree murder and attempted murder charges.
In early March, 3-year-old Bernice Wamala was attending a sleep over with a friend who lived in her building when she ate the poisoned cereal.
Both girls had severe reactions after eating the cereal and were rushed to the hospital.
Bernice died at the hospital hours after eating the cereal, while the other child recovered after a lengthy hospital stay.
Bernice was pronounced dead exactly one week after her third birthday.
Police say both of the girls were familiar with the Ngugi, however they have not confirmed what the connection was, nor have they identified the substance that’s alleged to have been put in the cereal.
“The man obtained the controlled substance from his place of employment and that was part of the investigation where they later determined that same controlled substance was found in the cereal that the two children consumed,” said Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu.
Ngugi will appear in court again on July 31.
The charges have not been proven in court.