The Mount Holly man who is accused of murdering his wife and collecting $250,000 in life insurance was home for the holidays after posting a $1.5 million bail.
Records with the Gaston County Jail show that Joshua Lee Hunsucker was released from the jail at 5:29 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The bail was posted by the U.S. Bonding Co.
The accused may pay a professional bail bondsman a percentage of the total figure, which typically ranges from 10 to 15 percent. The bondsman, in turn, guarantees the court that it will receive from him the full amount of the bond in the event the individual fails to appear for trial.
Five days earlier, the 35-year-old man had been placed in the Gaston County Jail, charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Stacy Robinson Hunsucker, who died Sept. 23, 2018.
Upon his wife's death, Joshua Hunsucker had received $250,000 as the beneficiary of her two life insurance policies. The couple had been married for eight years prior to her death and have two young daughters.
Special agents with the North Carolina Department of Insurance had been investigating Joshua Hunsucker since May after Stacy Robinson Hunsucker's mother, Suzie Robinson, made an allegation of insurance fraud by her former son-in-law resulting from the suspicious death of her daughter.
According to information provided in an affidavit for a search warrant, Suzie's Robinson's beliefs stemmed from a relationship that Joshua was allegedly having with a girlfriend prior to her daughter's death.
According to investigators, Joshua's co-workers at Atrium Health's MedCenter Air, where he had served as a lead paramedic since 2013, were also surprised at how unaffected he seemed by his wife's death. They were also shocked by how fast he had another girlfriend less than six months after his wife's death.
Jordan Green, an attorney for the fraud investigations unit of the North Carolina Department of Insurance, said during Hunsucker's initial court appearance on Dec. 19 that his office believes Hunsucker poisoned his wife with Visine.
According to Green, a test of Stacy Hunsuker's blood contained high levels of tetrahydrozoline, which is a form of medicine called imidazoline, which is found in over-the-counter eye drops and nasal sprays.
Stacy Hunsuker had suffered from heart problems in the past and had a pacemaker implanted soon after the birth of their second daughter.
According to the affidavit for the search warrant, the amount found in Stacy Hunsucker's blood was 30 to 40 times higher than the therapeutic level and would have had a "dramatic effect on her heart, which would cause heart stoppage in a short amount of time," Green said.
During his initial court appearance, Hunsucker's bond was set at $1.5 million by District Court Judge James Jackson. In setting the bond, Jackson said if Hunsucker was to post bail, then he would be outfitted with a GPS monitoring device.
Attorney David Teddy, who represented Hunsucker at the Dec. 19 court appearance, said the allegations would be "strenuously opposed."
Teddy said Joshua Hunsucker had no criminal record other than a few speeding tickets and he had a "strong family tie to the community," having grown up in Stanley and graduating from East Gaston High School, which Stacy Robinson Hunsucker also attended.
There were nine people, including Hunsucker's mother and father, who attended the hearing in support of him. Teddy argued that Joshua Hunsucker was not a flight risk as he asked the judge to set a reasonable bond of $50,000.
"He has not run from it (the murder allegation). He meets it head-on," Teddy said.
To set his bond any higher would drain Joshua Hunsucker's financial resources as he prepares to defend himself and also keeps him from working to support his two daughters, ages 6 and 5, Teddy said.
"He needs to be doing everything he can to take care of his two little girls," Teddy said. "The man's coming back to court."
Hunsucker's next court appearance, a probable cause hearing, is set for Jan. 9 in Gaston County.
You can reach Michael Banks at 704-869-1842, email [email protected] and follow on Twitter @MichaelBanksNC.
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