Pharmacist Convicted of Chemical Weapon Use Appeals to Supreme Court

A former pharmacist is appealing his case to the US Supreme Court after being sentenced to federal prison for smearing liquid mercury around a medical center.

A former pharmacist is appealing his case to the US Supreme Court after being sentenced to federal prison for smearing liquid mercury around a medical center.

Martin Kimber, of Ruby, New York, and his attorney believe he was unfairly charged on a federal level for what should have been handled as a local crime

Kimber, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison, had pleaded guilty in 2012 to 1 count of use of a chemical weapon, 1 count of possession of a chemical weapon, and 1 count of consumer product tampering.

The ex-pharmacist had grown angry over “substandard care and excessive billing” at Albany Medical Center, so he smeared liquid mercury in various places at the center 4 different times, according to The Times Herald-Record.

In January 2015, Kimber and his attorney, John Nicholas Iannuzzi, failed to persuade judges that his actions do not fall under the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998, which had been enacted as a response to the subway terrorist attacks in Tokyo.

“This stuff [mercury] was spread in a very obvious places just to be a pain in the butt, as opposed to a weapon of mass destruction," Iannuzzi said, according to The Times Herald-Record.

However, circuit court judges argued that because the hospital was the only trauma center in a 150-mile radius, Kimber’s mercury smearing placed patients at a heightened risk. They suggested that the pharmacist had done it to stop patients from going to the hospital.

Kimber remains in federal prison while he and his attorney wait to hear whether the Supreme Court will pick up the case.

Exposure to mercury may provoke respiratory symptoms, gastrointestinal effects, and central nervous system issues, such as headaches and general weakness, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.