NEW BRUNSWICK – The Monroe chemist who poisoned her husband after he sought a divorce has been sentenced to life in prison, Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced.
Tianle Li, 44, was sentenced to the term in New Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Michael A. Toto for the murder of Xiaoye Wang, a 39-year-old computer software engineer who lived with Li at 26 Stanley Drive in Monroe.
The judge said 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 sentence was imposed after Li was convicted on July 9 of murder and hindering her apprehension and prosecution by denying that she accessed the poison that was used to kill her husband. Mr. Wang died on January 26, 2011.
The judge also imposed a five-year term for the hindering count but said it will be served concurrently to the life term.
A jury of six women and six men deliberated for about two hours before finding Li guilty.
During a 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 contended that following the death of Mr. Wang, Li gave false information to police on January 26, 2011 when they were initially assigned to investigate the death.
Li was arrested and charged following the investigation by Lt. Jason Grosser of the Monroe Township Police Department and Investigator Jeffrey Temple of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
The investigation determined that Li and Mr. Wang, who were in the process of getting a divorce, had been involved in a series of domestic disturbances since April 2009.
It was further determined 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.
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, completed on January 25, 2011, determined that he had been poisoned with thallium. Mr. Wang died at the hospital the following day.
Members of the New Jersey State Police Hazardous Materials Unit and the Middlesex County Hazardous Materials Unit subsequently undertook an extensive investigation at Mr. Wang’s home, and concluded that no one else was exposed to thallium.
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