Monroe woman’s murder conviction for poisoning husband upheld by courts

Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2 | Apr 25, 2018 | MonroeNow

A Monroe woman who was convicted five years ago for killing her husband with poison lost her appeal case on April 24 to have her life sentence repealed, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey announced.

Tianle Li, 48, was found guilty on July 9, 2013 for murdering her husband, Xiaoye Wang, 39, in 2011 and for hindering her apprehension and prosecution by attempting to flee the country by a jury sitting in New Brunswick.

She appealed her first-degree murder and third-degree hindering apprehension convictions before the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division in connection to poisoning her husband between Nov. 16, 2010 and Jan. 26, 2011 with thallium, a highly toxic metal.

She was sentenced Sept. 20, 2013 to life in prison and will not be eligible for parole until Oct. 27, 2074. She would be 104 years old.

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.

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.

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

Li appealed her conviction on multiple points, one involving the Miranda process. She wanted to end her initial interview with Monroe police because they provided an “inadequate and indecipherable” Miranda warning against self-incrimination. The Miranda warning was issued to Li first in English and then by another police officer in her native Mandarin language.

However, the Appellate Court concluded that Li understood the Miranda warning because she “appropriately answered questions in English that were posed to her in English.”

The Appellate Court also determined that while the Mandarin translation was not “verbatim” it “conveyed to defendant her right to remain silent.”