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Chemist Sentenced to Life

Tianle Li, a former chemist at Bristol-Myers Squibb, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for poisoning her husband, Xiaoye Wang, the Associated Press reports.

Li was convicted of murder and hindering apprehension in July. The prosecution argued that she ordered the poison thallium, which is tasteless, odorless, difficult to detect, and fatal in small amounts, through work, the AP says.

"She calculated every aspect of her husband's murder; not only how to do it, but how to get away with it. She thought she was going to get away with this murder," Christie Bevacqua, the prosecutor, told the judge. "She chose to murder her husband rather than allow him to divorce her."

Li and her defense attorney maintain her innocence and are appealing the verdict.

Ed Silverman at Pharmalot adds that "[t]he episode greatly embarrassed the drugmaker, since authorities say Li got the chemical at work," and Silverman notes that it is unclear how much of the poison Li was able to take from Bristol-Myers. The company, he says, "has studiously avoided discussing the subject."