SAN DIEGO -- A Navy sailor accused of using rat poison to try to kill his wife faced a judge for the first time on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty. He was ordered held on $2 million bail.
Deputy District Attorney Paul Reizen said outside the courtroom that Race Remmington Uto exposed his wife to a deadly chemical that is nearly undetectable, with no distinct taste or smell. "That why it's called the poisoners poison," said Reizen.
The poison, Thallium, is a pesticide that was once widely used to kill rats, but has since been banned in the US.
Uto, a 27-year-old Electrician's Mate 3rd Class assigned to Naval Base Point Loma, was arrested last Thursday at the Balboa Naval Hospital on attempted murder charges
He became a suspect in March after his wife became sick from an undiagnosed illness and had to be hospitalized. Sheriff's investigators say tests revealed she had extremely high levels of Thallium in her system.
A search warrant revealed Brigida Uto was poisoned in September of 2017, again in December of that year and then again in late January 2018. She was so sick that her hair fell out and she couldn't use her hands or arms.
Uto and his son Race Jr. were also tested for Thallium poisoning, but results came back negative.
At the couple's home on Cochera Via, crime tape remains around the garage. A neighbor told FOX5 that hazardous materials teams spent hours combing the home for evidence.
An investigation involving the FBI, the Navy and the Sheriff’s Department led to Uto’s arrest. He was taken into custody at the Naval Medical Center Thursday. It’s unclear if he was at the facility for treatment, but he is currently under suicide watch at the Vista Detention Center.