Federal Way man charged with murder in wife's poisoning

Joseph Naimo was charged May 26 with first degree murder of his wife, Ann Marie Naimo.

On May 22, Federal Way police arrested Naimo, 67, on suspicion of first-degree murder of his wife, who died six months prior.

Police and fire responded to the call Nov. 28, 2008. They found a 53-year-old woman not breathing and performed CPR, police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock said. Naimo, a general manager at a pesticide business, told police and fire his wife had been an alcoholic and after years of not drinking had recently started consuming alcohol again, according to court documents. He reported Ann Marie woke up that day with a hangover and proceeded to drink to rid herself of its effects, according to the court papers. Naimo told police he and his wife argued over her alcohol consumption that day and he found her unresponsive in a back room after the argument, according to court documents.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office took the remains following the victim's death and performed an autopsy. Nothing physically suspicious was apparent and a toxicology test was ordered, reports said.

The results were returned in January. The medical examiner's office notified Federal Way police that the initial toxicology exam of the victim's blood revealed lethal levels of strychnine — a pesticide poison — and non-lethal amounts of prescription medications, according to court documents. She also had a .18 blood alcohol level, according to the documents. Police began a homicide investigation.

The poisoning causes one's muscles to contract, similar to a seizure, according to court documents. The person suffering from the attack generally remains awake while the poison shuts down his or her respiratory system, according to court papers.

Naimo first appeared in court May 21. His bail was set and remains at $5 million. As charged, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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