USC student opts for PTI after video shows her spitting, sprayin - - Columbia, South Carolina

USC student opts for PTI after video shows her spitting, spraying Windex on roommates' food

An image from video taken of Hayley King allegedly spitting in a roommate's food container. (Source: Anonymous An image from video taken of Hayley King allegedly spitting in a roommate's food container. (Source: Anonymous
Hayley King (Source: Columbia Police Department) Hayley King (Source: Columbia Police Department)

A University of South Carolina student caught on video spitting in and spraying Windex on her roommates' food in early 2015 has elected to enter into a pre-trial intervention program instead of facing trial on a felony charge that carried up to 20 years in prison.

Hayley King, 24, entered into PTI on December and has 90 days to complete the diversion program. The Fifth Circuit Solicitor's Office has placed a charge of Food / Unlawful, malicious tampering with human drug product or food on hold.

A Columbia Police Department incident report indicates video recorded on the morning of Feb. 4, 2015 appears to show King spitting in multiple containers of food that was stored in a refrigerator in the off-campus house she shared with two other women. According to the report, she can also be seen spraying Windex on food and pouring the glass cleaner in food containers.

The report states King and her roommates had "multiple altercations" in the weeks prior to the incident. The women told police they had been trying to get King to move out because of the fights, but she had refused to leave.

King's roommates told police they were worried about what she may have been doing at their house while they were away, so they set up hidden cameras inside the home.

One of the roommates reported to police that she ate some of the food that had Windex and spit in it.

After viewing the video, an investigator contacted King and asked her to report to the police department for questioning. During a recorded interview, she "confessed to the incident," the report states.

In a statement provided to WIS, King's attorney, Seth Rose, says the video only tells part of the story.

"My client deeply regrets this incident and is grateful for the opportunity to enroll into the Pre Trial Intervention (PTI).

While some have tried to mischaracterize this incident as an attempted poisoning, my client regrets her actions and never had any intention to hurt anyone.

There are other facts of this case that were unknown to the public. That's why we ask anyone who has been bullied to go through the proper channels and seek assistance from local authorities, rather than acting on your own."

Seth Rose
Lawyer for Hayley King 

Shortly after the incident, King's roommates did not want to be identified or talk on camera, but provided statements to WIS.

"The aftermath ... caused me to fall behind in my classes," one of King's roommates said. "I was forced to switch out of one of my courses because I was so distracted with everything going on. This not only affected me physically, having to deal with the repercussions of the incident, but also mentally from the anxiety that came along with it."

According to the report, one of the roommates also reported getting a threatening text message from an apparent ally of King's. "While Hayley is moving out don't [expletive] with her. Y'all have been [expletive] taunting her since the semester started. If she tells me you're [expletive] with her I will personally come and check you. You too old to try to be bullying some damn body. Grow the [expletive] up," a portion of the text message stated.

King was released a day after her arrest on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

Should King successfully complete the pre-trial intervention program, she will have the opportunity to apply for expungement of the charge from her criminal record.

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