Local News

Police: Fayetteville teen poisoned grandma's collards

Posted April 25, 2014 11:34 a.m. EDT
Updated April 25, 2014 11:52 p.m. EDT

— A Fayetteville teen was arrested Thursday and accused of spiking her grandmother's Easter dinner with insecticide, according to an arrest warrant.

Tyt'ana Lisa-Nicole Johnson, 17, of 206 Harrison St., was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder. She was being held Friday in the Cumberland County jail under a $500,000 bond.

According to a warrant, Johnson tried to kill Gaylon Moody on Sunday by pouring insecticide and termite killer into a pot of collard greens cooking on the stove, knowing that Moody planned to eat them.

Moody said it was payback after she confiscated her granddaughter's cellphone for a week.

"I just couldn’t understand it," Moody said Friday. "Over a cellphone, you want to kill somebody?"

She said she cooked her collard greens and the rest of dinner before heading off to church for Easter services. Later, she and friend Clifton Evans sat down to eat.

"About an hour and a half later, we started getting sick," she said. "My fingers started feeling numb, (and it spread to) my chest, my face, my mouth."

They tried to drive to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center but weren't able to.

"We were staggering like we were intoxicated, but neither one of us drank," she said.

"You couldn’t smell it. You couldn’t taste it," Evans said. "We couldn’t even stand up we were so weak."

A friend of Moody's who overheard Johnson making suspicious comments about sickening her grandmother rushed over and drove Moody and Evans to the hospital, where they were treated and spent the night.

On Wednesday, Moody said, she found an empty pesticide bottle in a cabinet at home, and she and Evans confronted her granddaughter, who confessed to the poisoning.

"She said, 'Mr. Evans, I didn’t mean to make you sick. I was trying to get back at grandma,'" Evans said. "They got her locked up, but she needs help. Seriously, something's wrong with her. People don’t do that over cellphones."

Moody and Evans were able to laugh at the episode on Friday, noting that Evans enjoyed the collards so much he grabbed a second helping.

"That was good. I was loving it," he said. "Even with the stuff on it."

Johnson, a junior and an honor roll student at Terry Sanford High School, was ordered to stay away from Moody and Evens if she posts bond. She would go into the custody of the Cumberland County Department of Social Services.

Moody and Evans said they have forgiven her, but Evans said he's learned a lesson from the incident.

"I ain't eating nobody’s collard greens now except my mother's," he said.