(CNN) – A North Carolina paramedic is accused of killing his wife with eye drops and collecting life insurance of US $ 250,000 after his death.
Joshua Hunsucker, who appeared in court on Friday, has been charged with first-degree murder, according to prosecutor Jordan Green of the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
Hunsucker's lawyer, David Teddy, told the judge that "an accusation has been made and, of course, it must be presumed that Joshua is innocent like any other person."
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Hunsucker "has not fled from" the accusations, said the lawyer, and "has been a law-abiding citizen all his life." The lawyer did not immediately respond to CNN calls seeking additional comments.
Hunsucker's wife, Stacy Hunsucker, suffered some health problems at home on September 23, 2018, Green said. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment and "finally succumbed" to the health problem.
An insurance department agent and the medical researcher analyzed his blood tests and found high levels of tetrahydrozoline, Green said, "which is one of the active ingredients in a medication for eye drops that I would use to clear my eyes."
Green did not say how they believe the authorities believe it was poisoned.
A toxicologist and a cardiologist reported that the medication could cause cardiac arrest or failure within a short period of time, Green said. Investigators believe Hunsucker poisoned his wife, killing him, he said. Authorities have ruled out suicide and that other people have contributed to his death, he said.
Deposit set at US $ 1.5 million
Hunsucker, whom his lawyer described as a 35-year-old paramedic, has requested that a reasonable bond be established, the lawyer said.
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"He hasn't done anything since his wife passed away that would give the impression that he's doing something other than doing everything he can to take care of his two daughters," Teddy said.
Green responded by citing Stacy Hunsucker's $ 250,000 life insurance policy.
"He also has $ 250,000 of the life insurance income he raised after his wife's death," the prosecutor said.
The judge set bail at US $ 1.5 million and said Hunsucker must be equipped with a GPS monitor if he is released. He remains in the Gaston County jail. You must return to court in January, according to online records.
The US Food and Drug Administration. UU. he warns that ingestion of tetrahydrozoline can cause serious harm, especially among children, while the American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that the substance had been used in assassination attempts.
According to the WSOC affiliated with CNN in Charlotte, police have reported two other cases, one this year and one in 2018, in which women were arrested and accused of trying to poison their partners with eye drops.