Man Sentenced After Spiking Co-Worker’s Pepsi with Toxic Chemical

Jerome Ellis, a 49-year-old former store worker for Dollar General in DeLand, Florida, learned the consequences of food and water poisoning on Thursday when he was sentenced to four years in state prison. The cause? Spiking his colleague’s Pepsi with bleach.

The incident occurred on October 24, 2022, when, according to the Volusia County sheriff’s report, a worker at the store left an open Pepsi can on a counter during a bathroom break and noticed that it smelled and tasted of bleach upon his return. The worker panicked and called 911, then told the manager about what had happened and secured the can in a safe place.

After reviewing the store’s surveillance video, the victim blamed Ellis for pouring bleach into the Pepsi can. A deputy questioned Ellis about the situation, during which Ellis claimed that everything had resulted from spilled cleaning solution – which the video proved to be false. After being given the opportunity, Ellis admitted to intentionally spiking the Pepsi “as payback for [the co-worker] being difficult to work with” and brushing up against him.

Fortunately, the victim had only come into contact with the tainted soda and did not require medical attention. On Thursday, Ellis was convicted of the felony charge of poisoning food or water and received the maximum state prison sentence of four years.