Nicotine Murder Trial: Paul Curry's Ex-Wife Testifies About Mysterious Illness

Nicotine Murder Trial: Paul Curry's Ex-Wife Testifies About Mysterious Illness
Paul Curry

09/18/2014 AT 04:00 PM EDT

The former wife of a nuclear engineer – on trial for murdering his third wife with a lethal injection of nicotine in 1994 – told jurors about her "debilitating" illness that doctors were unable to diagnose during the final year of their marriage.

"They [the doctors] didn’t know what was wrong," Leslie Curry testified in Orange County Superior Court on Sept. 15. "I was very, very weak – it was hard to do anything. I could barely even sit up."

Leslie's former husband Paul Curry, 57, was arrested in 2010 in connection with the poisoning death of Linda Curry, who prosecutors claim he killed in order to collect over $500,000 from her life insurance policy.

While grappling with her strange illness that often left her bedridden, Leslie told jurors how in 1989 her then-husband suggested they should both get life insurance policies.

"I thought it was odd," she said. "He'd never spoken about it before."

She was eventually turned down for the policy and Paul "left me shortly after that," she said.

Following the split, Leslie moved back to Las Vegas where her family lived and was puzzled when the symptoms that had plagued her for the past year disappeared.

"It wasn't until we split up that I started feeling better," she said. "It happened pretty quickly."

Leslie insisted that she never suspected her former husband was trying to poison her.

"I didn't equate anything at the time," she said. But years later – after they opened a business together with some of the money Paul received from Linda's insurance policies – she had grown a bit more distrustful of her ex-husband.

"He said, ' Why don't we get a life insurance policy in case something happens to either one of us?' " Leslie recounted. "And I told him, 'Are you kidding?' "

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