Doctor charged with trying to poison husband with Drano was trying to kill ants, lawyer claims

ByMelissa Adan ABCNews logo
Sunday, April 9, 2023
Doctor was trying to kill ants with Drano, not husband, lawyer claims
The lawyer for the doctor charged with trying to poison her husband with Drano claims she was set up.

LOS ANGELES -- A Southern California doctor accused of poisoning her husband's tea with Drano has been charged.

Now, we're hearing from both attorneys in the case as the defendant is expected in court in the coming weeks.

Accused of poisoning her husband with liquid drain cleaner, dermatologist Yue "Emily" Yu has been charged with three felony counts of poisoning and one count of domestic battery. However, her lawyer claims the woman's husband set her up.

"Dr. Chen basically set her up and put spy cameras or hidden cameras in the kitchen to catch her doing that. Then he claimed he was poisoned," said the wife's attorney, Scott Simmons.

RELATED: Woman accused of poisoning spouse is prevented from seeing her kids

An Orange County Superior Court judge extended a temporary restraining order against a Mission Viejo dermatologist from seeing or phoning her children in light of allegations that she poisoned her husband with Drano.

These images center stage for the Orange County District Attorney who claims it shows the mother of two pouring a "Drano-like substance" into her husband Dr. Jack Chen's tea, "intending to cause him pain and suffering."

But, Yu's attorney said that's not what is pictured. He claims his client was trying to kill ants in the kitchen.

"She does pour the Drano in the cup three times -- to kill the ants. That's not disputed. She absolutely poured the Drano in the cup," Simmons said.

Chen said he set up a hidden camera in his home last April, when he says he "began noticing a strange taste to the tea."

The Orange County DA said photos capture Yu pouring a substance into the tea on July 11, July 18 and July 25.

In Chen's divorce filings, it states he was diagnosed with "two stomach ulcers, gastritis, and esophagitis."

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Chen's attorney said he believes Yu didn't want to kill her husband, but make him suffer.

"What she did was diabolical. She inserted herself into his morning routine so smoothly. We don't know how long it took him to realize he was being poisoned," said Steve Hittelman, the husband's attorney.

Yu is expected to be arraigned in the coming weeks and could face eight years, if convicted of all counts. In the meantime, her husband has filed for divorce and is fighting for full custody of their children.