Chinese chemistry student poisoned black roommate, trashed belongings district attorney says

Posted at 11:35 AM, Dec 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-21 12:35:14-05

BETHLEHEM, PA (WFMZ/CNN) – Pennsylvania prosecutors said a Chinese student at Lehigh University poisoned his African-American roommate.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said in the spring, 22-year-old Yukai Yang poisoned his long-time roommate 23-year-old Juwan Royal with a deadly chemical known as thallium.

"Mr. Royal experienced extreme pain in his lower extremities as well as severe burning in his lungs which resulted in intensive medical treatment," Morganelli said.

Morganelli said that treatment followed a series of emergency calls to the dorm room Royal and Yang shared.

Once, Royal was sick and vomiting, and another time because his belongings were vandalized.

"Police found damage to the victim's television and damage was also done to the victim's bed and desk, where the phrase "N word get out of here" in black marker, was written,” said Morganelli.

Investigators said after Yang gave a written statement on the vandalism similarities in his handwriting and the racist comment on Royal's desk were noticed.

But it wasn’t until investigators had Royal’s blood tested that they discovered that Yang, an honors chemistry student, was also allegedly responsible for the illnesses that plagued his roommate.

Yang admitted he bought thallium online and put it in food and drinks that were stored in the dorm’s common refrigerator, Morganelli said.

"They were purchased with the intent for him to harm himself if he did poorly on future exams," Morganelli said.

Copyright 2018 WFMZ via CNN. All rights reserved.