Renee Burke of Holbrook, 40, is charged with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Sini said.
Riverhead, NY - January 3, 2019 - Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini today announced the indictment of a woman for allegedly attempting to murder her estranged husband by poisoning beverages inside his home with antifreeze.
Renee Burke, 40, of Holbrook, is charged with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, a B felony; Attempted Assault in the First Degree, a C felony; Burglary in the Second Degree, a C felony; two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, an A misdemeanor; and two counts of Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, an A misdemeanor.
"This is an extremely troubling case," District Attorney Sini said. "The evidence will show there there are at least three occasions in which the defendant attempted to kill her estranged husband: once by putting antifreeze in his wine bottle, once by putting it in his soda, and another - which was caught on videotape - where she puts antifreeze in another one of his wine bottles. It's not only disturbing that the defendant attempted to murder her estranged husband, but that she did so in the presence of children. The evidence in this case is strong, and that is because of the excellent work of Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Santomartino and the detectives in the Fifth Squad of the Suffolk County Police Department."
On Sept. 6, 2018, the victim began to drink a glass of wine but discarded it due to its strange taste and smell. On Sept. 10, 2018, the victim started to drink a glass of Pepsi but again tasted and smelled chemicals in the drink. He contacted police, who recovered the bottle and suggested he install surveillance cameras in his home.
Surveillance video taken on Sept. 12, 2018, shows Burke allegedly pouring antifreeze into a wine bottle inside the victim’s home. The victim contacted police, who arrested Burke and charged her with Burglary in the Second Degree.
Several beverage containers were recovered by police from the victim’s home and sent to a laboratory for testing, which revealed the presence of ethylene glycol, a compound found in antifreeze.
A subsequent search warrant executed at Burke’s residence resulted in the seizure of a bottle of antifreeze.
Burke also consented to an analysis of her cell phone, which revealed internet searches for “antifreeze with alcohol,” “what liquids for cars can kill a human,” and “can antifreeze kill s himan (sic).”
Burke was arraigned on the indictment today in front of Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen. Bail was set at $200,000 cash or $400,000 bond. She is due back in court on Feb. 7.
If convicted of the top count, Burke faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Santomartino, of the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Bureau.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.