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Susan Kent, Chair Of CU-Boulder's History Department, Distressed By Pot Brownie 'Attack'

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The chairwoman of the University of Colorado's history department today said she's distressed by the immaturity and recklessness of the two students who are accused of Friday's pot brownie "attack" on their classmates and instructor.

Those students -- Thomas Ricardo Cunningham, 21, and Mary Elizabeth Essa, 19 -- were arrested Saturday night on suspicion of serving marijuana-laced brownies to unsuspecting classmates and assistant history professor Celine Dauverd, sending three, including Dauverd, to the hospital and sickening five others.

"The History Department is relieved that our colleague and the students are recovering from this attack, and distressed by the lack of responsibility and maturity shown by two reckless students whose actions put many people at risk," said Susan Kent, chairwoman of the department.

The suspects are due in court today at 2 p.m. for a first appearance, according to Catherine Olguin, spokeswoman for the Boulder County District Attorney's office.

CU police say they could face prison time for felony charges stemming from the Friday incident on campus.

Police said that both Essa and Cunningham admitted to planning to bring marijuana brownies to class and not telling their classmates or professor that the dessert contained marijuana, according to a police report released this morning. The suspects also admitted to putting marijuana extract into the brownies, the report said.

The 9 a.m. history class was small, with about a dozen students, and the victims began feeling sick within 1 1/2 hours after eating the brownies, according to the report.

The two students were arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, inducing the consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault and conspiracy to induce the consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means. All four of those charges are felonies.

CU police responded to the Hellems Arts and Sciences building around 10:20 a.m. Friday on a report of a history professor complaining of dizziness and losing consciousness. Around 4 p.m., a student's mother notified CU police that her daughter, who was in that class, was having an anxiety attack and was at a local hospital, according to police.

On Saturday, a second student told CU police she felt like she was going to "black out" after class. She, too, was taken to a hospital for evaluation, according to CU police.

CU police say their investigation revealed that the three hospitalized victims -- and five other classmates -- were suffering from the effects of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or anasb@dailycamera.com. ___

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