Wife gets 24 years for plotting to poison husband

Deone Graham

A Grand Junction woman who admitted plotting to kill her husband by poisoning his whiskey was sentenced Monday to serve 24 years in prison.

Deone Marie Graham, 45, received the maximum term available to District Judge Brian Flynn under a plea agreement.

Graham pleaded guilty in August to solicitation to commit first-degree murder and inducing consumption of a controlled substance by fraudulent means.

Flynn, unmoved by defense pleas for leniency, said a sentence in the case should deter anyone pondering a similar crime. A pre-sentence report found Graham to be a medium risk to re-offend, Flynn said.

“I think that’s a good possibility if I weren’t to lock you up as long as I can,” the judge said.

An arrest affidavit said Graham sought to make her husband’s death appear to be a suicide. Graham in February put morphine, eye drops and crushed pills into her husband’s whiskey, making him partially blind and sick for three days, the affidavit said.

Graham suspected her husband was cheating on her and she wanted him dead to collect his 401(k), prosecutors said.

Graham directed another woman, who recorded conversations while acting as a Grand Junction police informant, to buy 2 grams of methamphetamine to poison her husband, explaining she’d heard “3 grams could kill a buffalo,” the affidavit said.

Graham was arrested April 5 after a police investigation.

Holly Barcus, the woman who turned Graham into authorities, said Graham’s actions continue to have ramifications in her life.

“My husband won’t drink out of a plastic container because he’s so paranoid someone’s tampered with it,” she told the judge.

Graham was free on bond when she was arrested again Aug. 3 in California on allegations she mailed letters to her husband, demanding he leave their marital home and claiming he wasn’t paying the bills. The letters were alleged to have violated a no-contact order between the couple.

Graham ended up removing her husband from their home through civil eviction, Deputy District Attorney Bo Zeerip said.

The husband didn’t attend Monday’s sentencing.


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