TUCSON, Az. (NewsNation) — An Arizona woman is waking up in jail Tuesday after being accused of trying to kill her husband by poisoning his coffee.
Melody Felicano Johnson, 39, was indicted by a grand jury in Pima County last month. She was charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted assault and adding poison to food or drink. Her husband, Roby Johnson, told police he believed his wife wanted to collect death benefits.
Roby, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, knew something was off when his coffee started to taste different. So, he set up some cameras to try to see what was going on.
Roby told investigators that he started noticing his coffee tasted bad in March while they were stationed in Germany. He then pretended to drink it for months.
According to the complaint, Roby said he bought chemical testing strips, the kind people use to test the chemical balance of a swimming pool. The results of those tests found high levels of chlorine in his morning cups of coffee.
That’s when he set up cameras to catch his wife in the act of poisoning his beverage.
Roby told investigators that he pretended to drink the coffee until last month when the family moved to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona.
In Tucson, Roby took the camera footage to the police, where investigators indicated the video was not clear enough to show what was being poured into the coffee.
So, Melody’s husband purchased additional cameras disguised as fire alarms and set them up near the laundry room, coffee pot and walkway in between.
The documents state Roby recorded multiple videos over several days showing Melody taking bleach, pouring it into a container and then walking over and pouring it into the coffee maker.
He told investigators that he knew she would continue to try and poison him once arriving back in the U.S., which is why he waited until they arrived back in the country to report her.
“I do question the not reporting it for months. Why pretend to drink your coffee for months on end when you have those test strips to prove? It’s surprising to me,” NewsNation National Security contributor Tracy Walder said.
It’s the latest case of alleged poisonings in the past few months.
In April, a doctor in California was charged after a video allegedly showed her pouring drain cleaner into her husband’s tea.
And in Utah, back in May, a mother who wrote a children’s book about grief was accused of killing her husband after allegedly lacing his cocktail with fentanyl.
“Women tend to prefer poisons,” Walder said. “That’s a psychological thing that’s been proven.”
Back to the Arizona case, investigators noted in the complaint that Melody has family in the Phillippines and bought a house there last year, saying she may be a potential flight risk.
She is being held on a $250,000 bond, and efforts to reach Melody’s attorney were not successful.