Footage show Calif. doc poisoning husband with Drano, lawyer says

More details have emerged in the case of a California dermatologist who allegedly poisoned her husband by surreptitiously pouring Drano into his lemonade. 

Jack Chen, the husband of Irvine doctor Yue “Emily” Yu, reported to police last week that he believed he was being poisoned by his wife after he grew ill over the course of several months. He also provided authorities with video evidence allegedly taken from hidden cameras he had installed in their Irvine home. Yu was arrested on August 4. 

“Just after 6 p.m., Irvine Police Detectives interviewed the suspect, 45-year-old Yue Yu, and served a search warrant at the home she shares with the victim,” police said in a statement. “Yu was arrested for poisoning her husband and booked at Orange County Jail.”

Chen’s lawyers have now shared stills they say were taken from those cameras. 

Screen grabs of footage allegedly show Yu with a bottle of Drano in their kitchen. Another still shows Chen drinking from a cup. Yu’s lawyers have denied all allegations. 

“She tried to kill him,” Chen’s lawyer Steven Hittleman told CBS News. “She takes up the bottle, she pours it in, puts the cap back on, puts it back into the sink … very calm, very methodical.”

Chen claims he had been feeling ill as far back as March and April before deciding to install hidden cameras in their home. His lawyer said Chen was diagnosed with stomach ulcers, gastritis and inflammation of the esophagus.

Records show that after her arrest, Yu posted $30,000 bail on Friday and was released from Orange County Jail. Yu was then reportedly served with divorce papers and a restraining order requiring her to stay 300 feet from Chen and their two children. In the restraining order petition obtained by CBS News, Chen also alleges “longtime verbal, physical and emotional abuse” that extended to their two children.

That temporary restraining order was granted, though records show no charges have been brought against Yu in the alleged poisoning. Yu’s attorney reportedly told the New York Post his client “absolutely and unequivocally” denies poisoning her husband or abusing Chen and their children. The lawyer claimed Chen is trying to “get a leg up in the divorce” through these allegations. 

Yu attended medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, according to her office’s website, and works as a specialist in dermatology in the city of Mission Viejo.

The hospital affiliated with Yu, Providence Mission, issued a statement saying they were aware of the arrest and are working with authorities. “This incident is a domestic matter which occurred in Irvine, and we want to reassure our community that there has been no impact on our patients,” the hospital said.

Records show Yu is due to appear in Orange County Superior Court for a domestic violence hearing on August 18.

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