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He Thought His Wine Had Gone Bad. It Was Much More Sinister

Long Island man's estranged wife, Renee Burke, charged with attempted murder
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2019 1:38 AM CST
This photo provided by the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Riverhead, NY, shows Renee Burke.   (Suffolk County District Attorney's Office via AP)

(Newser) – Long Island man Matthew Burke thought a bottle of wine had gone bad Sept. 6 when he took a sip and spat it out, prosecutors say. But the next day, his 4-year-old son told a babysitter: "Mommy put something in Daddy's drink." Prosecutors say his estranged wife, Renee Burke, broke into his apartment on at least three occasions and put antifreeze in bottles of wine and soda, NBC reports. She was indicted Thursday on charges of attempted murder, attempted assault, burglary, and endangering the welfare of a child, WABC reports. The Holbrook, NY, resident faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

After Burke contacted police on Sept. 10, they advised him to install surveillance cameras. They captured Renee Burke, this time accompanied by the couple's 8-year-old daughter, pouring a pink liquid into a wine bottle in his kitchen. Matthew Burke had full custody of both children, while Renee Burke had temporary visitation rights. Police say her Internet search history included queries like: "What liquids for cars can kill a human?" "This is an extremely troubling case," says District Attorney Tim Sini. "It's not only disturbing that the defendant attempted to murder her estranged husband, but that she did so in the presence of children." (This Delaware woman killed her weightlifter husband by lacing his steroid injections with antifreeze.)

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