Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

DA: Long Island Mother of 2 Tries to Poison Husband With Antifreeze in Front of Children

One of the couple's two young children witnessed the poisoning attempts on at least two occasions, prosecutors said

What to Know

  • A 40-year-old Long Island woman is accused of trying to poison her husband to death by putting antifreeze in his drinks
  • One of the couple's two young children witnessed the poisoning attempts on at least two occasions, prosecutors said
  • Renee Burke pleaded not guilty Thursday to attempted murder, assault and other charges; her lawyer declined comment

A 40-year-old Long Island mother of two has been indicted for allegedly trying to poison her estranged husband to death with antifreeze, at least two times in front of one of the couple's young children, prosecutors said Thursday. 

Renee Burke, of Holbrook, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, assault and other charges. Her lawyer declined comment.

Prosecutors say Burke and her husband are going through an ugly divorce and he has custody of their 4-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. In September, prosecutors allege she broke into his apartment at least three separate times and put antifreeze in his wine or soda in an attempt to kill him.

Calling the alleged crime "cold blooded," Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said at least one of the couple's children witnessed the attempted poisoning two of the three times. After one case, the 4-year-old son told a babysitter, "Mommy put something in Daddy's drink," Sini said. 

Burke was also caught on surveillance video inside her husband's apartment. That video shows the couple's 8-year-old daughter holding baby bottles containing antifreeze -- and Burke pouring them into a wine bottle, Sini said.

The husband did drink from the bottles on two occasions, prosecutors said, but he spat out the poison and eventually called police. 

Burke was ordered held on $200,000 cash bail. 

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