Middlesex County News

Bristol-Myers Squibb Chemist Used Thallium to Poison Husband

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The effects of thallium poisoning Credits: Pinterest
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MONROE, NJ - A local woman who killed her husband using "the poisoner's poison" did not win an appeal yesterday to have her life sentence repealed.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that a Monroe Township woman’s 2013 murder conviction was affirmed today by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

Tianle Li, 48, of Monroe Township was convicted on July 9, 2013 by a jury sitting in New Brunswick of the murder of her husband, Xiaoye Wang, a 39-year-old computer software engineer and for hindering her apprehension and prosecution by attempting to flee the country.  

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She appealed her conviction for first degree murder and third degree hindering apprehension in connection to the thallium poisoning of her husband, says a press release issued today.

Li was sentenced on September 20, 2013 to life in prison. The judge ordered that the defendant must serve at least 62 years and six months, which represents 85 percent of the term, before she can be eligible for parole.       

The judge also imposed a five-year term for the hindering count but said it will be served concurrently to the life term.

During the six-week trial, Middlesex County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christie L. Bevacqua and Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Allysa B. Gambarella presented evidence and testimony showing Li administered poison to her husband in Monroe. The prosecution further showed that following the death of Mr. Wang, Li attempted to flee the country. 

It was further proven that Li, who had been employed for 10 years as a chemist at Bristol-Myers Squibb, had obtained the thallium, a highly-toxic metal, and administered a portion of the substance to her husband between November 16, 2010, and January 26, 2011.

According to Lee Lofland in The Poisoner's Poison, "Thallium, a metal that's used in electronic switches and some medical devices, was once used as a major component in insecticides and rat poisons. It's basically odorless and tasteless. And it is well known as the “poisoner's poison” because it is so difficult to detect in the human body."

After becoming ill with apparent flu-like symptoms, Mr. Wang admitted himself to the University Medical Center at Princeton on January 14, 2011 for treatment. A series of tests determined that he had been poisoned with thallium. Mr. Wang died at the hospital the following day.

 

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