Grand Junction woman tried to kill husband with poisoned whiskey

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Deone Graham

Deone Graham

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — In an attempt to make her husband’s death look like a suicide, a Grand Junction woman plotted to kill her husband by poisoning his favorite alcoholic beverage.

Deone Graham, 45, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from that plot Wednesday, including solicitation to commit murder. She could face up to 24 years in prison.

According to Grand Junction police, Graham told a friend in March that her husband, Johnny Graham, had been sick for three days and she knew the reason why: She poisoned his whiskey because she believed he had been cheating.

Among the materials Deone used in her first attempt to poison her husband’s beverage, according to the police report, were eye drop medication, several unknown crushed up pills and morphine.

When her husband survived that attempt on his life, Deone attempted to obtain illegal drugs to complete her aims, which eventually led to her arrest on April 6.

Between her first poisoning attempt in March and her arrest in April, police say Deone’s murder plot became more elaborate by the day.

After her first attempt to kill her husband failed, Deone went back to the same friend several days later and asked if she had any knowledge of illegal drugs. After her friend admitted that she did, Deone asked her about the type and quantity of drug that could be used to kill her husband.

As Deone continued to press her friend for details about the cost of obtaining the drugs, her friend realized the severity of the threat. On one occasion, the friend was able to tape Deone’s questions about drugs with a cell phone camera, giving police cause to proceed with an undercover investigation.

As police probed further, they learned of Deone’s plot to make the poisoning appear to be a suicide.

“It’s going to be so easy for me even if (police) question me,” Deone said in her friend’s cell phone video, according to the arrest affidavit. “I don’t know anything because the way (my husband) is acting. I don’t know anyone he’s hanging out with. I don’t know where he buys anything, not even his liquor.”

Deone’s plan extended beyond her husband death. She told her friend that she would get between $20,000 and $25,000 from her husband’s 401k, including his retirement and benefits.

On April 6, police provided Deone’s friend with two grams of Epson Salt, which were meant to look like methamphetamine in a sting operation. That amount was eventually upped to three grams per Deone’s request, as she told her friend that she heard three grams of methamphetamine “could kill a buffalo,” according to the arrest affidavit.

Police moved in after Deone exchanged $290 in cash for the salt and took her into custody.