Ex-Paramedic Accused of Using Eyedrops to Kill Wife Also Allegedly Set Helicopter on Fire
A North Carolina paramedic accused of using eye drops to kill his wife has now been accused additionally of setting a fire inside a medical helicopter during a flight.
Joshua Hunsucker was charged Monday with felony burning personal property for the alleged Nov. 26, 2019 in-flight incident, which occurred about a month before he was arrested in connection with the 2018 death of his 32-year-old wife Stacy Hunsucker.
According to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department incident report obtained by PEOPLE, Hunsucker allegedly torched a syringe pump while inside the chopper as it was flying over Charlotte. The helicopter had to make an emergency landing in a vehicle dealership parking lot, the incident report states.
Atrium Health, which transports patients to hospitals and employed Hunsucker, filed the complaint against him.
"Nothing is more important for our emergency medical crews than safety — especially for those who are in flight," Atrium Health said in a statement obtained by the Charlotte Observer. "If what Mr. Hunsucker is charged with is true, it is unfathomable to us what may have possessed him to endanger himself and others in such a way. We are extremely thankful that our pilot was able to land safely and that no-one was injured and especially grateful that there were no patients on board."
Hunsucker was charged with first-degree murder in Dec. 2019 in the Sept. 23, 2018 death of Stacy, who was his high school sweetheart.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance began investigating her death after Stacy's mother, Suzie Robinson, accused Hunsucker of insurance fraud after she learned of a relationship she believed he was having prior to his wife's death, the Shelby Star reports, citing a search warrant affidavit.
According to the Star, Hunsucker collected $250,000 in life insurance after his wife's death.
Hunsucker's colleagues allegedly told investigators that Hunsucker seemed "unaffected" by his wife's death and that he swiftly moved in with his new girlfriend to the home he shared with Stacy after her death, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by ABC News.
Hunsucker allegedly gave multiple versions of where he was before he said he found his wife slumped over the side of a couch at their home. To a friend, he allegedly said he had gone out for a walk. To Robinson, he allegedly said he was working on his computer in the kitchen when he noticed Stacy slumped on the couch, the affidavit states, ABC reports.
Hunsucker allegedly refused to have an autopsy performed on his wife and she was cremated after her death, according to the affidavit. However, because she was an organ donor, a blood sample had been saved, which was taken to a lab for testing.
According to the affidavit, Stacy's blood had extremely high levels of Tetrahydrozoline, an ingredient found in eye drops, the Star reports.
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"Josh Hunsucker is a flight paramedic for Medcenter Air for which his training and experience would certainly provide a thorough understanding of various types of medication and how those medications could react in the body," the affidavit states. "Additionally, his employment provides access to non-controlled substances which do not require logging or inventory control."
"That medicine has a dramatic effect on your heart and would cause heart stoppage or heart failure," state attorney Jordan Green said during a 2019 court appearance Hunsucker made, WSOC-TV reported.
"We have probable cause he poisoned Mrs. Hunsucker with Visine, which caused her death," Green said, according to the Star.
Green said Hunsucker was on administrative leave and under investigation after being accused of misconduct at the time of his arrest, WSOC-TV reported.
According to a Gofundme page, Stacy had been experiencing medical problems since 2013 after she gave birth to her daughter, Piper, and had been given a pacemaker in 2015. A friend had started the page to help the husband with mounting medical bills.
Friend Kelly Kreeger told WSOC-TV that she was shocked when she heard the news of the mother of two's death. "I mean she did not deserve for this to happen to her. She was a great mother. She was a happy person."
Hunsucker was booked and released on $50,000 Monday on his latest charge. He is to appear in court for this charge on May 18.
Hunsucker's murder trial is still pending. He is currently out on bail.
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