A Leesville man accused of contaminating the kidney dialysis water at his former workplace was given a $525,000 bond by a judge on Thursday.
Donald Albert Foster, III, 49, faces attempted murder and second-degree burglary charges in connection with the case.
Calling the charges against him a "big misunderstanding," Foster asked the court to grant him bond so he could go home to his family.
"I'm not going anywhere," Foster said. "I want to go home to my daughter and take care of my family and go to court."
Prosecutors had asked the judge to not set any sort of bond.
Arrest warrants say Foster entered Fresenius Medical Services on Sum Mor Drive about 9 p.m. on July 7. Foster had just been suspended without pay from the clinic and was told to not trespass on the property.
Warrants go on to say Foster poured chlorine bleach into a water holding tank that is used to supply water for the dialysis machines. Deputies say Foster knew from his training at the facility that contaminated water would kill any patients receiving treatment.
Employees at the clinic were able to catch the contamination thanks to a regular test of the water.
David Geiger had direct contact with Foster at the clinic and described Foster as a nice guy.
"He like, cleaned up and stuff," Geiger said. "I never thought he would do that."
Lexington County Sheriff James Metts feels differently.
"Because of his training, he knew what would happen to this company, and he didn't seem to care about life," Metts said.
Twenty patients were scheduled for dialysis that Monday and could have been harmed.
"The chlorine bleach and the quantity that was put into the holding tank would have been fatal to anyone who would have been given that through the dialysis process," Metts said.
Today the company told us, "Our facilities have safety protocols in place designed to detect the presence of impurities in our water. These checks occur prior to the first session of dialysis therapy each morning and multiple times throughout the day while the clinic is open. During a routine early morning check, our staff was able detect a contaminant and take appropriate steps to correct what occurred. Although patients' treatments were slightly delayed, no one was harmed and all of our patients received their scheduled treatments that day. We are proud of our staff and are grateful that they caught this situation."
A hearing for Foster has been scheduled for Nov. 15. Foster could face a maximum of 45 years in prison for the crime if convicted.
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