AZ woman accused of trying to kill husband with poison in his coffee pleads guilty to lesser charge

BySteve Almasy and Amanda Musa, CNN
Thursday, April 11, 2024
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PIMA COUNTY, Arizona -- A woman in Arizona pleaded guilty this week to attempting to poison her husband's coffee every day for months, court documents show.

As part of a plea deal, Melody Felicano Johnson - who had been charged with attempted first-degree murder - pleaded guilty to two counts of the lesser felony charge of adding poison or a harmful substance to food or drink, according to the court minutes from Pima County Superior Court.

She will face a maximum of 2 years in prison for each count, according to the minutes, and her sentencing is scheduled for May 10.

Johnson's attorney, a Pima County public defender, did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

The defendant's husband, Roby Johnson, told investigators he "believes she was trying to kill him to collect death benefits," according to a criminal report obtained last year by CNN affiliate KVOA. Roby Johnson said he first noticed a foul taste to his coffee in March 2023 while he was an airman stationed in Germany, the document says.

The Johnsons were still living together with their child but were going through a divorce.

Roby Johnson told detectives he used pool testing strips to determine his coffee pot "showed high levels of chlorine," and set up hidden cameras that reportedly caught Melody Johnson pouring bleach into a container and pouring the contents of that container into the coffee maker, investigators said.

Roby Johnson told investigators he pretended to continue drinking the coffee so he could wait until they returned to Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson before filing a police report.

Melody Felicano Johnson had been charged in August with attempted first-degree murder, attempting to commit aggravated assault, and poisoning food or drink.

A woman in Arizona pleaded guilty to trying to poison her husband's coffee for months. She will face a maximum of 2 years in prison for each count, according to the minutes.
Pima County Sheriff's Office via CNN Newsource

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