Charges dismissed against man who allegedly poured poison on his kids’ mother

The case against a St. Paul man accused of trying to poison his children’s mother in 2020 has been dismissed.

Thorbjorn Vadnis Koyen MacBain, 41, was previously charged with one count of second-degree attempted murder and one count of second-degree assault for allegedly pouring a poisonous substance over a woman who is the mother of his children.

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Court records show the case was dismissed on Wednesday.

In November 2023, a judge declared the case a mistrial, and prosecutors began preparing for a retrial.

“As the investigation continued, we engaged the victim in conversation to consider her wishes. We then made the difficult decision to dismiss the case as it is the right thing to do, rather than subject the victim and her children to a challenging and difficult retrial,” said Dennis Gerhardstein, the spokesperson for the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.

The charges stem from an incident in Roseville on the evening of Sept. 23, 2020, in which officers responded to Central Park on a report of a woman suffering a medical emergency.

Police said officers learned the victim and her children were at the park for a custody visit with MacBain. He told officers that he and his children were playing with water guns when he said the victim had a panic attack after he sprayed her with water. He also told officers she had underlying health issues that may have contributed to her condition.

The woman was taken to a hospital, where her condition deteriorated, police said. Medical experts told officers she nearly died, and her symptoms were consistent with being poisoned with an organophosphate.

Eventually, the victim’s condition stabilized and she told detectives she’d been sitting on a park bench when MacBain came up behind her and poured a liquid on her. She reported that the liquid had a smell and feel inconsistent with water, and she immediately felt like she was about to pass out. However, she was able to dial 911.

Police said one of the children was also slightly splashed with the liquid and developed mild symptoms.

A hazardous materials team responded to the park along with a Minnesota National Guard 55th Civil Support Team and determined there was no risk to the public.

MacBain was taken into custody the next day, and authorities searched his home a short time later with the help of hazardous materials teams.