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‘We Do Not Stand By Her’: Daughter Of Lori Isenberg, Serving Life In Husband’s Poisoning Death, Voices Regret In New ‘Dateline’

Lori Isenberg claimed her husband, Larry, died after falling overboard while trying to fix his boat’s motor on Lake Coeur d’ Alene, but investigators later discovered a fatal dose of Benadryl in his system and a sinister motive.

By Jill Sederstrom
Amber Barnes Dateline

Those close to Lori Isenberg, the Idaho woman sentenced to life in prison earlier this year for the murder of her husband — all in an effort to hide a massive embezzlement scheme — are speaking out about the case for the first time on television.

Lori initially claimed her husband, Larry Isenberg, was killed in a boating accident, but authorities ultimately alleged she poisoned him with lethal amount of Benadryl to cover up financial crimes that also ensnared her four daughters.

Now one of those daughters, Amber Barnes, is speaking out to "Dateline NBC" in a two-hour broadcast Friday at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, denouncing her mother after realizing “I didn’t want to live with any more regret.”

“I regret not saying more in the beginning. I regret not talking to the investigators. I regret not standing up for Larry,” Barnes told Dateline's Keith Morrison. “We do not support her. We do not stand by her.”

Barnes said she decided to speak out against her mother at a sentencing hearing earlier this year to honor who Larry had been to the family.

“I wanted her to know and the world to know, no, we loved Larry too, and she took him from us, too,” Barnes said.

Lori was given a life sentence and will have to serve at least 30 years behind bars after agreeing to enter an Alford plea to second-degree homicide, according to The Spokesman Review. In an Alford plea, the defendant can maintain their innocence while acknowledging prosecutors likely had enough evidence to earn a conviction at trial.

She initially claimed her 68-year-old husband died on Feb. 13, 2018 after falling off the couple’s boat in Lake Coeur d’Alene while trying to fix a stalled motor.

Lori told authorities she waited two hours to call 911 because she had left her phone onshore and didn’t realize Larry’s phone was still onboard, East Idaho News reported.

After his body was discovered weeks later, floating face down in the chilly waters, investigators uncovered a fatal dose of diphenhydramine—the active ingredient in Benadryl—in his system.

Authorities say Lori killed her husband to prevent him from finding out that she had embezzled more than $500,000 from her employer, the North Idaho Housing Coalition.

Lori Isenberg Pd

She was arrested in the embezzlement case just weeks after his death. Four of her daughters—including Barnes—were later convicted of conspiracy to commit federal program theft after they received some of the stolen money.

Lori has refused to accept complete responsibility for the killing, telling a judge at her sentencing hearing in May that she had been planning to kill herself with a Benadryl-laced drink, but Larry accidentally drank the fatal concoction after she had fallen asleep on the boat.

“I know that Larry would still be alive if it were not for me fixing a drink with Benadryl in it so that I would be able to selfishly and cowardly take my life,” she said at the time, according to The Spokesman Review. “If I would not have had that bottle in there, he would not have accidentally drank it. That is my fault. I take total blame and responsibility for that.”

Morrison uncovers new details in the case, including never-before-seen body cam footage and jailhouse video. He also speaks with Larry’s son, Dean Isenberg, Lori’s daughter Chrislyn Woolston, Det. Brad Maskell and two of her former managers at the North Idaho Housing Coalition.

Watch Dateline Friday at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. CT.

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