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Man pleads not guilty to attempting to kill wife

ST. GEORGE (AP) — Michael E. Hester, accused of trying to kill his wife by the deadly fumes from mixing ammonia and bleach, has pleaded not guilty to attempted aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping.

Hester, who has been free on $100,000 bail, was arraigned this past week in 5th District Court.

At the request of Deputy Washington County Attorney Matthew Miller, Judge Eric Ludlow prohibited Hester from having any contact with any of the state's witnesses. There are at least 21 witnesses prosecutors may call.

He was arrested in June and accused of locking his wife, Jan Hester, in the fume-filled bathroom of their home. After her husband left, she stumbled to a neighbor's house for help.