Melody Felicano Johnson Admits to Poisoning Husband in Plea Deal

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An Arizona woman, who faced charges of attempting murder by poisoning her husband, has accepted a plea agreement.

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Melody Felicano Johnson has pled guilty to two counts of mixing poison or harmful substances into food or beverages, as shown in Pima County Superior Court documents, which CNN and local outlets KOLD and KCRA accessed. Initially, Johnson faced charges of attempted first-degree murder and had plead not guilty in August 2023; however, she now faces a lesser felony charge.

KCRA reports that Johnson could be sentenced to a prison term ranging from four months up to two years for each count.

Johnson’s public defender mentioned that she confessed to adding slight amounts of bleach to their coffee pot on July 11 and July 18, 2023, as per KOLD’s report. The 39-year-old first became a suspect of poisoning her husband Roby Johnson’s coffee in March 2023, after he detected a “foul taste” in his drink.

Roby, serving in the Air Force, was stationed in Germany with his wife when he began suspecting his coffee was poisoned. He later used testing strips on his coffee and installed video cameras aiming to catch Melody in the act, as noted in court documents covered by CNN affiliate KVOA in August 2023.

One camera was positioned in the couple’s laundry room, another above their coffee machine, and a third to monitor movement between these two locations. Utilizing pool testing strips, Roby discovered high chlorine levels in his coffee pot. NBC notes that he installed several cameras that resembled ceiling-mounted fire alarms in their home. He continued to drink the coffee as a ruse, waiting until they returned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson to file a police report, he informed the authorities. At the time, the couple lived together with their child and were undergoing divorce proceedings, CNN revealed. Investigators learned from Roby that he “believes [Melody] intended to murder him to claim death benefits.”

Melody was finally arrested on July 18, according to NBC. She had been considered a flight risk by prosecutors after recently purchasing a property in the Philippines, leading to her bond being set at $250,000.

Her sentencing is planned for May 10.

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