Suncha Tinevra is the elderly New York woman accused of poisoning her husband by putting ant and roach killer in his coffee. He got sick from ingesting the insect killer but survived, investigators explained in a news release.
According to Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz, there is video evidence of Tinevra, 70, spiking her husband’s coffee with the poisonous substance two or three times. She was arrested on January 14 and was due back in court on March 10, state court records show.
The record on the New York State Unified Court System website shows Tinevra hired defense attorney Todd Douglas Greenberg. Heavy has reached out to his office for comment on Tinevra’s case. As of this writing, we had not yet heard back.
Here’s what you need to know:
Prosecutors Say Tinevra Was Recorded Squeezing a White Powderly Substance Into Her Husband’s Coffee
Update: Septuagenarian woman charged with attempted assault for repeated poisoning of husband inside their Oakland Gardens' home.
Defendant allegedly laced spouse’s coffee with boric acid used to kill insects.
— Queens DA Katz (@QueensDAKatz) January 17, 2021
Tinevra may have tried to poison her husband three times, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office. Prosecutors said Tinevra was recorded “squeezing a white powdery substance from a bottle with a red cap and yellow label” into her husband’s coffee on January 12. NBC New York reported the video was from a home surveillance system.
Tinevra was filmed grabbing the bottle from beneath the kitchen sink. Prosecutors explained that when detectives searched Tinevra’s home on January 14, they “recovered a bottle with a red cap and yellow label from the spot under the sink.” The bottle turned out to be an insect killer containing “100% boric acid.”
District Attorney Katz included the following comment in the news release:
Domestic violence is not limited to mental and physical abuse. The defendant in this case allegedly used deception to sicken her spouse. The victim did become sick, but thankfully did not die. The defendant now faces serious charges for her alleged actions.
The Judge Released Tinevra From Custody & Ordered Her to Stay Away From Her Husband
Court records show Tinevra was arrested on January 14 around 9 p.m. She appeared before Queens Criminal Court Judge Jeffrey Gershuny the following day. Tinevra faces the following charges:
- Attempted Assault in the second degree (Felony)
- Reckless endangerment in the second degree (Misdemeanor)
- Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree (Misdemeanor)
According to District Attorney Katz, Tinevra could face a sentence of up to four years in prison if convicted on the charges.
The judge decided to release Tinevra on her own recognizance, court records show. Judge Gershuny also ordered Tinevra to stay away from her husband while the case proceeds. The records show a Temporary Order of Protection was issued.
Boric Acid Is a Pesticide & Can Damage the Esophagus & Stomach When Swallowed
A 70-year-old woman is accused of lacing her husband’s coffee with ant and roach killer multiple times, causing him to become sick. https://t.co/tmTeKUWeOT
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) January 17, 2021
The Queens County District Attorney’s office explained Tinevra was accused of using an ant and roach killer containing boric acid. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, boric acid has been used in products in the United States since at least 1948. Insects die when they eat boric acid and it can also stop mold from reproducing.
The Mount Sinai Health System notes on its website that repeat exposure to boric acid is dangerous. It was previously used as a disinfectant to clean wounds. But as Mount Sinai explained, this practice stopped because “people who received such treatment over and over again got sick, and some died.”
The hospital adds that when swallowed, boric acid can damage the esophagus and the stomach and cause death even months later: “Holes (perforations) in the esophagus and stomach may result in serious infections in both the chest and abdominal cavities, which may result in death.” Anyone who comes into contact with boric acid or ingests it should contact their local Poison Control.