A Michigan man caught on hidden camera poisoning his wife’s coffee last year was initially expected to be sentenced to probation, but was instead sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Brian Kozlowski, 46, of Macomb Township, pleaded guilty June 13 to poisoning his wife, a crime for which Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith said he could have served 15 years in prison. He was sentenced to serve his 60 days on weekends only.
"The sentence handed down by retired, visiting Judge Antonio Viviano was a slap in the face to the victim and the justice system in general. The defendant pleaded guilty to a 15-year felony in June for repeatedly poisoning his wife," Smith said Thursday afternoon. "The pre-sentence investigation report recommended a sentence of 38 to 180 months, yet the judge sentenced the defendant to only 60 days, served on weekends.
“The Court seemed more focused on ensuring the defendant’s freedom and ability to continue to work than the victim and her safety. It is troubling to think that someone who commits such a reckless crime, putting his wife and so many other people at risk, is able to walk away with such a light sentence.”
Smith had said in a previous statement that Viviano had indicated to defense attorneys that he would sentence Kozlowski to probation.
"This defendant deserves nothing less than a prison cell for his actions and that is what we will be stressing to Judge Viviano Thursday morning, or we will be appealing the sentence, plain and simple," Smith said.
Smith said the victim filed for divorce from Kozlowski in May 2018. Two months later, she said, she began to feel tired and nauseous and had blurred vision on the days that her husband prepared her coffee for her.
Suspicious, the woman set up hidden cameras in her kitchen. The footage showed Kozlowski dosing her coffee with diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl.
"The last coffee that the defendant had made for the victim was analyzed and contained 127 milliliters of diphenhydramine," Smith said.
The recommended adult dosage of liquid Benadryl is 25 to 50 milligrams, or 10 to 20 milliliters, according to the product packaging.
Footage of the crime, obtained by Fox 2 in Detroit, shows Kozlowski setting down a carafe of coffee, then reaching under a kitchen cabinet for a small container of liquid. He pours the liquid into the top of the carafe, replaces the lid and swirls the carafe around to distribute the liquid throughout the coffee.
See the footage in a Fox 2 report below.
Upon watching the footage, Kozlowski’s wife immediately contacted her divorce lawyer and moved out of the couple’s home.
Macomb County court records indicate their divorce was finalized in February.
"This defendant's actions were despicable," Smith said. "We are all thankful this sneak attack didn't cause the victim to fall asleep behind the wheel on her way to work, killing herself and/or innocent drivers."
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