Doctor slipped cleaner into spouse’s tea, he installed cameras, now she’s charged, D.A. says

A woman pours an orange container into a cup of tea.
Jack Chen claims that, using a hidden camera, he first captured video of his wife pouring Drano into his morning tea on July 11.
(Hittelman Family Law Group)
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An Irvine dermatologist is facing multiple felony charges, including three counts of trying to poison her husband with a liquid drain cleaner, in an alleged plot uncovered after her husband secretly installed cameras around their home.

A grand jury indicted Yue “Emily” Yu, 45, on three felony counts of poisoning and one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury, the Orange County district attorney announced Wednesday.

Yu’s husband, Jack Chen, first grew suspicious in April 2022 when he began to notice a “chemical taste” in his morning tea. According to court documents in which he sought a restraining order from his wife, Chen fixed the tea for himself in the mornings, and grew concerned as he started to suffer from stomach ulcers and a swollen esophagus.


Growing suspicious, Chen secretly installed cameras around his Irvine home, where, according to the restraining order request, he captured video of Yu pouring liquid drain cleaner into his cup when he left it unattended.

Jack Chen alleges that video shows his wife, Yue ‘Emily’ Yu, spiking his drink with Drano. Yu denies the allegations, calling them defamatory.

Aug. 15, 2022

According to prosecutors, video showed Yu pouring the chemical into the tea on July 11, 18 and 25.

Chen turned the video over to the Irvine Police Department, and samples of the tea were sent to the FBI for testing, confirming the presence of drain cleaner in the drink, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Yu’s then-attorney told The Times in August that Yu “vehemently and unequivocally” denied ever attempting to poison anyone.

Yu’s current attorney in the criminal case did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this article.

Zarbab Ali has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of his wife, Rachel Castillo, the Ventura County district attorney’s office said.

Nov. 16, 2022

Yu was arrested in August and released after posting a $30,000 bond. The grand jury indictment was unsealed Wednesday.


“Our homes should be where we feel the safest,” Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “Yet, a licensed medical professional capitalized on her husband’s daily rituals to torment her husband.”

In his request for a restraining order, Chen described his 10-year marriage as growing abusive and at times violent, and alleged that Yu hit and otherwise abused their two children when they spent time with him.

Yu is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment on April 18.