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Woman Poisoned Husband with Eye Drops After Crossbow 'Accident,' Cops Say

She allegedly admitted to squirting the over-the-counter medicine in his food.

by Drew Schwartz
Sep 5 2018, 4:59pm

Mugshot via the York County Sheriff's Office

When police found Steven Clayton dead in his South Carolina home last month, his wife told them he'd come down with a bad case of vertigo and taken a fatal dive down a set of stairs, a story the cops apparently bought for weeks. But now investigators say she poisoned her husband to death—a bizarre murder she allegedly pulled off with eye drops.

Last week, Lana Clayton allegedly confessed to killing her husband by spiking his food and water with the stuff for three days straight, the local Herald reports. Turns out that if you ingest enough tetrahydrozoline, a chemical usually found in eye drops and nasal sprays, over-the-counter products like Visine can cause seizures, stop your breathing, leave you in a coma, or in Steven Clayton's case, kill. According to the autopsy, a coroner found "poisonous levels" of the chemical in his body.

Police haven't concluded what might have motivated Lana Clayton, but she complained of her husband's allegedly abusive "mood swings" after another bizarre incident in 2016. That year, police responded to their home after Lana "accidentally" shot her sleeping husband in the head with a crossbow that was, for some reason, in their bedroom, the Herald reports. Back then, Steven told cops he "did not believe his wife was trying to kill him,” but now that she's admitted to the poisoning, they're taking another look at the case.

Now Clayton, who's been charged with murder and malicious tampering of food, is facing 30 years to life in prison, and possibly the death penalty all because she got her hands on some over-the-counter medication that's somehow safe for your eyeballs, but fatal to ingest. If nothing else, the case serves as a warning to the rest of us: Keep that shit out of the kitchen, and be extra careful not to accidentally squirt some in your mouth.

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