Crime Files: Arizona woman accused of pouring chlorine in Air Force husband's coffee

An Arizona woman is accused of attempting to poison her husband, a U.S. Air Force airman, by pouring chlorine into his coffee.

According to court documents we obtained, 39-year-old Melody Felicano Johnson is accused of committing multiple criminal offenses in connection with the incident.

We are taking a closer look at the allegations against Johnson.

What is Johnson accused of?

Johnson, according to an interim criminal complaint, is accused of Domestic Violence - Attempted First Degree Homicide, Domestic Violence - Attempted Aggravated Assault, and Adding Poison to Food or Drink.

All the alleged crimes, according to the interim complaint, are felonies.

What did Johnson allegedly do?

The alleged victim, according to investigators, is Johnson's husband Roby.

Roby, according to court documents, is in the Air Force, and share a child in common. The two are going through a divorce.

March 2023

"During the end of March 2023, while stationed in Germany, [the alleged victim] started noticing that his coffee was tasting bad," read a portion of the court documents. "He continued to drink the coffee for the next 2-3 weeks and then ended up buying some pool chemical testing strips as the coffee continued to taste very bad to him."

According to investigators, the alleged victim first tested the faucet water, which showed everything was normal. The alleged victim then tested the water in his coffee pot, which showed high levels of chlorine.

"[The alleged victim] stated he suspected someone was [tampering] with his coffee, and in May 2023, while still in Germany, he set up a camera in his house, which showed [Johnson] pouring something into his coffee pot," read a portion of the court documents.

The alleged victim, according to investigators, has stated that Johnson knew that he would prep his coffee pot to be ready at night, so that by the next morning, he just needed to turn it on to make his coffee.

"At that time, he stopped drinking the coffee but continued to drink it, as he did not want to make a report of this while in Germany," a portion of the court documents read.

June/July 2023

The alleged victim and the suspect, according to investigators, returned to the U.S. on June 28.

On July 1, they arrived to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, and placed into temporary at a hotel on base. While there, investigators said the alleged victim set up a camera again, and on July 5, Johnson can be seen walking over to the coffee maker, and pour something into the coffee maker's water reservoir.

The alleged victim, according to court documents filed a report with Tucson Police on July 6.

"He showed the officers at the front desk the video, but since you could not clearly see what she was pouring into the coffee maker, the report was taken with no follow up," read a portion fo the court documents. "Due to that, [the alleged victim] purchased additional cameras that looked like fire alarms which attach to the ceiling."

In all, investigators said the alleged victim installed three such cameras: one in the laundry room where the bleach was kept, one directly over the coffee maker, and one in an area that showed walking from the laundry to the coffee maker.

"On [July 18, 2023], after collecting multiple videos over multiple days, including [on July 18, 2023] showing [the suspect] take bleach, pour it into a container and then walk over and pour it into the coffee maker," read a portion of the court documents.

What happens when someone is exposed to bleach?

According to the National Library of Medicine's website, chlorine poisoning is possible when someone swallows or breathes in chlorine. Chlorine is present in some bleach products, according to the website.

There are a number of symptoms involving chlorine poisoning, including blood in the stool, burns of the food pipe, severe abdominal pain, and vomiting blood.

NOTE: This website does not provide medical advice. The information provided above is meant to be informative, and nothing on this site should be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have concerns about your health, reach out to your primary care doctor or other health care providers.

What happened to the suspect?


Melody Felicano Johnson, 39, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and adding harmful substances to food, drink or medicine. (Pima County Sheriffs Department)

The suspect, according to court documents, was detained at the home she shared with the alleged victim.

Police officials said the suspect immediately invoked her right to an attorney upon being detained, and was not questioned.

A search warrant, according to investigators, was served on the residence.

"There was liquid inside of the coffee maker that smelled like bleach," read a portion of the court documents. "A container inside of [the suspect's bedroom] under her bathroom sink was located, which smelled like bleach and had very small amount of liquid inside of it."

It should be noted that the suspect and the alleged victim have separate bedrooms and bathrooms inside the home, according to court documents.

Is there a possible motive?

According to court documents, the alleged victim believes the suspect was trying to kill him in order to collect death benefits.

Has a bail amount been set for the suspect?

Officials have asked for a high bond for the suspect, as she has family in the Philippines, and purchased a home there in December 2022.

In the end, however, records in Pima County show a bond of $250,000 was set for Johnson.