Police in Cumberland County have charged Eugene Pittman with first-degree attempted murder after he put ant poison in his wife's meal, according to Durham ABC station WTVD.
Pittman's wife noticed a strange, sweet taste in her food, according to the arrest warrant. Carmen Jackson-Pittman even jokingly asked while she was eating whether he was trying to poison her, the warrant alleges.
Jackson-Pittman ended up falling asleep and when she awoke, the warrant states, her hands and mouth were duct-taped and Pittman was attempting to suffocate her.
His wife told police that he removed his hand from covering her nose and told her, "You have two choices: You can leave, or you can die."
The incident happened May 12, but Pittman was arrested on Monday.
Pittman put Terro ant poison in her meal, according to the warrant. The main ingredient in the poison is borax, which can cause unconsciousness, renal failure and respiratory depression in "severe poisonings," according to the Pesticide Action Network, a nonprofit that tracks pesticides in food and the environment.
The 52-year-old man is being held at Cumberland Detention Center on $50,000 bond, court records show.