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Ex-paramedic pleads not guilty to setting fire to medical chopper mid-flight

Joshua Hunsucker is accused of setting fire to an Atrium Health medical helicopter mid-flight in 2019.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A former Gaston County paramedic charged with killing his wife by poisoning her with eye drops in 2018 pleaded not guilty to felony arson Wednesday in connection with a medical helicopter fire that investigators allege he intentionally set. 

Joshua Hunsucker was accused in 2021 of setting a medical helicopter on fire mid-flight. An arrest warrant alleged Hunsucker set fire to a syringe pump during a flight on Nov. 26, 2019. The helicopter, which transports patients for Atrium Health, was forced to make an emergency landing at a car dealership on Independence Boulevard in Charlotte. 

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Hunsucker was arrested on a felony charge of damaging Atrium's property. He bonded out of jail on the charge. When he was arrested, Hunsucker was already out of jail on bond awaiting a trial for charges that he killed his wife. He was taken into custody and charged with the murder of his wife, Stacy Robinson Hunsucker, just weeks after the helicopter fire happened. 

Stacy Robinson Hunsucker's cause of death was changed from a heart attack to homicide in July 2020. Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hunsucker, claiming he killed his wife to collect a $250,000 insurance payout and be with his mistress. 

Hunsucker last appeared in court over a year ago when a judge issued a gag order in the case, including attorneys, investigators and potential witnesses. The gag order prohibits them from talking publicly about the homicide case. A trial date still hasn't been set. 

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