The lawyer of the California dermatologist caught on camera allegedly pouring Drano into her husband’s drinks said her estranged spouse was actually experiencing acid reflux, not the effects of poison.
Attorneys for Yue “Emily” Yu explained the supposed diagnosis in Orange County Superior Court Tuesday, where their client was set to be arraigned on three felony counts of poisoning and one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury.
Yu’s lawyer Scott Simmons claimed that Jack Chen’s injuries were inconsistent with Drano poisoning and more in line with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, Fox News reported.
“As you know Drano is a caustic substance. You’d have severe injuries,” Simmons told reporters at the courthouse. “His injuries are consistent with a benign condition called GERD or acid reflux.”
Yu, 45, was caught on video allegedly spiking Chen’s lemonade-tea drink with the liquid drain cleaner over a span of three days in July 2022.
She was arrested that August and was released after securing $30,000 bond.
Chen, a radiologist, said he suffered stomach ulcers from ingesting the chemicals and set up hidden cameras in the couple’s kitchen after he noticed his tea tasted strange, his attorney Steve Hittleman told The Post.
The doctor couple are in the middle of a bitter divorce and custody battle and Yu’s lawyers claimed Chen, 53, was framing her in order to win custody of their two kids.
Yu’s divorce lawyer David Dworakowski told The Post last week that his client was trying to treat an ant problem in the family’s kitchen with the Drano-tainted tea.
The attorney said Yu poured Drano and sugar in the lemonade-tea drink in a bid to attract the ants into the concoction, drowning them.
“While prosecutors are making it out like this video of Emily is a ‘smoking gun’, the reality is she was trying to attract the ants into the glass so they would drown,” Dworakowski said.
Chen’s lawyer said the defense’s story keeps changing, with the bug-control theory the latest excuse.
“I cannot give a response as to how the prosecution views this, but I can tell you that’s now the second theory offered by the defense,” Hittleman said. “At first, she was using the Drano to clear the pipes out and now it’s the ant problem. I can tell you Dr. Chen denies there was any use of Drano as ant control for the house.”
Chen has a restraining order against his wife and has their two children the majority of the time under a temporary custody agreement. Yu is allowed supervised custody of the kids twice a week.
The mom was indicted by a grand jury on April 5 and faces more than eight years in prison if convicted of all charges.
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