A Michigan man was sentenced to 60 days in jail – to be served on weekends – for poisoning his wife’s coffee with the active drug found in Benadryl.
Brian Kozlowski’s estranged wife “felt tired, nauseous and was experiencing blurred vision” on July 2018 after drinking coffee that Kozlowski had prepared for her, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s press release states.
The woman had filed for divorce two months earlier, court records show.
She became suspicious of the coffee and had cameras installed in their kitchen. Videos later revealed Kozlowski had been pouring diphenhydramine, the active drug in Benadryl, “into his wife’s morning coffee, intentionally poisoning her,” the release states.
Kozlowski was in a “deep state of depression” when he committed these acts “because his wife ended their 29 year relationship,” his attorney, Benjamin J. Aloia, said.
“Over the last year he has been attending routine psychological counseling and testing, has respected the no-contact order and personal protection order in place, and the parties amicably resolved all of their divorce issues,” Aloia said.
The last coffee Kozlowski made was analyzed and found to contain 127 milliliters of diphenhydramine, the release said.
The antihistamine is used mainly for the treatment of seasonal allergies, bites, stings and rashes and has often proved to cause sedation, according to the DrugBank database.
Benadryl has about 25 mg of the drug, which is about 0.025 milliliters.
Kozlowski pleaded guilty to poisoning food, drink, medicine or water supply on June 13, court records show. Along with his jail sentence, he was also sentenced to five years probation by a judge on Thursday.
Following the sentencing, Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said on Twitter “the court seemed more focused on ensuring the defendant’s freedom & ability to work than the victim’s safety.”
“It is troubling to think that someone who commits such a reckless crime, putting so many people at risk, walks away with just a slap on the wrist,” Smith said.
The couple is now divorced, according to the Macomb County Court site.