A North Carolina man has been charged with using Visine eye drops to kill his wife of eight years. Joshua Lee Hunsucker, 35, was arrested and booked late last week, charged with the first-degree murder of Stacy Robinson in September 2018. His bail has been set at $1.5 million.
North Carolina’s Department of Insurance made the shocking connection after the dead woman’s mother, Suzie Robinson, alerted them to possible insurance fraud by her former son-in-law.
The case marks the second time eye drops have been allegedly used as a murder weapon. In 2018, a 52-year-old South Carolina woman was charged with murdering her husband by putting eye drops in his drinking water.
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Robinson alleged that her former son-in-law was motivated to kill her daughter over a relationship he had started during the marriage. The Shelby Star reports that Hunsucker was awarded a $250,000 life insurance payout after his wife’s death.
The Hunsuckers raised around $10,500 through a GoFundMe campaign after Stacy suffered an unspecified medical condition following the birth of their first daughter in 2013. The couple created another fundraiser after the birth of their second daughter in 2014, during which Robinson went into cardiac arrest and received a pacemaker. She worked at a local preschool and the couple posted pictures of what appeared to be a happy marriage with their young children on social media.
The suspect worked as a paramedic, and his co-workers testified that he was “unaffected” by his wife’s sudden death. He also allegedly gave varying accounts of what he was doing before his wife stopped breathing, turned blue and collapsed on the sofa in their family home last year, according to court documents.
Hunsucker originally told investigators that he had his back to her and found her on the sofa dead, according to the affidavit published in local news outlets. He then changed his story, telling friends how he found her after entering the room.
Police say Hunsucker also tried to block authorities from performing an autopsy on his dead wife. But because she was an organ donor, a sample of blood was taken—and later subpeoned in the insurance fraud investigation. The results were used to prove that she had been poisoned after high levels of tetrahydrozolilne were found in her system.
North Carolina Department of Insurance attorney Jordan Green said that her blood contained 30 to 40 times higher levels that the normal therapeutic value of the drug, which would have had “a dramatic effect on her heart, which would cause heart stoppage in a short amount of time.”
Green told a judge during Hunsucker’s first court appearance Friday that they had “probable cause he poisoned Mrs. Hunsucker with Visine, which caused her death.”
Lawyers for Hunsucker “strenuously opposed” the allegations and pleaded that his bail should be lowered to $50,000 so he can be with his two young children. The judge refused the request.
Hunsucker’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 9. If he is able to pay his $1.5 million bond he will be fitted with an electronic monitoring system.