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Man accused of killing wife with eye drops, now arrested for setting fire to medical helicopter

Joshua Hunsucker has been charged with setting fire to a helicopter as it flew over Charlotte. He's previously been charged with killing his wife.

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Joshua Hunsucker, the Gaston County man arrested in December of 2019 for allegedly poisoning his wife with eye drops, has now been charged with intentionally setting fire aboard a Charlotte medical helicopter mid-flight, according to an arrest warrant obtained by WCNC Charlotte Tuesday.

The warrant charges Hunsucker with setting fire to a syringe pump during a flight on Nov. 26, 2019. As WCNC Charlotte has previously reported, the helicopter, which transports patients for Atrium Health, was forced to make an emergency landing across from the parking lot of a car dealership along Independence Boulevard.

"Hey, do you all have any calls reference, like a helicopter, landing on the side of Independence Blvd?" a dispatcher is heard in scanner traffic obtained by WCNC Charlotte. "Looks like it's landed out here for some reason."

RELATED: Eye drop murder suspect was on helicopter forced to land due to arson weeks earlier

On Monday, Hunsucker was arrested on a felony charge of damaging Atrium Health's property. He bonded out of jail Tuesday to await a May 18, 2021, probable cause hearing.

When Hunsucker was arrested Tuesday, he was already out of jail on bond awaiting a trial on charges for allegedly killing his wife. In December of 2019, just weeks after the helicopter fire, Hunsucker was arrested and charged with the 2018 murder of Stacy Robinson Hunsucker.

RELATED: Family of eye drops murder victim release only public statement

Joshua Hunsucker is accused of killing his wife by surreptitiously placing eye drops in his wife's water and exposing her to deadly amounts of tetrahydrozoline, an ingredient in eye drops, according to court documents previously obtained by WCNC Charlotte.  

In addition to the first-degree murder charge, a grand jury previously indicted Hunsucker on insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses greater than $100,000. Those charges stem from Joshua Hunsucker receiving a  $250,000 life insurance payout after his wife's death.

Investigators have said after his wife's death, Hunsucker refused to have an autopsy performed and quickly had her remains cremated.

Detectives previously said Hunsucker was inspired by the arrest of a York County woman in September 2018, who eventually pleaded guilty to poisoning her husband with eye drops.

Hunsucker was fired from Atrium Health on Dec. 20, 2019.

At the time, Atrium Health told WCNC Charlotte, "We are cooperating with law enforcement on an investigation. We would not want to do or say anything that might interfere with that. Any information would be best served coming from them.” 

Hunsucker's attorney, David Teddy, declined to comment on the new allegations.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story indicated that Hunsucker was arrested Tuesday, March 30. He was arrested Monday, March 29.

Note: WCNC instituted a new policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots.

WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.