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California doctor charged after video allegedly shows her poisoning husband's tea with liquid drain cleaner

OC dermatologist indicted on suspicion of poisoning husband with Drano
OC dermatologist indicted on suspicion of poisoning husband with Drano 03:03

A Southern California dermatologist has been charged with poisoning her husband by pouring liquid drain cleaner into his tea, authorities said Wednesday.

Yue "Emily" Yu, a 45-year-old doctor from Irvine, was indicted by a grand jury on three felony counts of poisoning and one count of domestic battery with injury, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said in a statement. She faces a maximum sentence of eight years and eight months if convicted on all counts.

Yu is scheduled to be arraigned on April 18. Her attorney, Scott Simmons, said she will plead not guilty.

Yu was arrested in August after her husband reported to police that he believed he was being poisoned. She was later released on bail.

Prosecutors said the man noticed a strange taste to his tea in April 2022 and installed cameras in the family's kitchen, which captured video of Yu pouring a substance on three occasions from a bottle of drain cleaner into the tea.

Dr. Yue Yu, a dermatologist, is seen in screenshot from videos secretly recorded in July purportedly showing her pouring drain cleaner into her husband's lemonade. CBS Los Angeles

The man collected samples of the tea that he gave to authorities, who confirmed the substance was consistent with drain cleaner, the statement said. The substance, authorities said, caused the man to suffer stomach ulcers.

Chen's lawyer says there are hours of hidden camera video available to prove their case, and that he is now doing better after taking time to recover from the ulcers, CBS Los Angeles reports.

"Our homes should be where we feel the safest," Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. "Yet, a licensed medical professional capitalized on her husband's daily rituals to torment her husband by systematically plying his tea with a Drano-like substance intending to cause him pain and suffering."

The indictment requires Yu to self-report to the Medical Board of California, which will determine whether she will be allowed to continue to practice medicine, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Yu's lawyer Scott Simmons says that her husband was desperate for a divorce filing and are questioning why he decided to go the a divorce attorney before police or medical professionals. 

In a statement provided to CBS Los Angeles, attorneys state that "Drano is not a covert poisoning agent. It has a strong smell and taste and is highly caustic" and that she is "looking forward to her day in court when the truth will finally come out."

Dr. Yue Yu, a dermatologist, in undated photo. CBS Los Angeles
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