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Alleged Poisoner Had 'Good Strategy' to Duck Charges

Seems Yukai Yang nearly got out of the US
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2018 3:05 PM CST
Yukai Yang.   (Pennsylvania police)

(Newser) – Seems Yukai Yang had a solution to his problem: Get the heck outta Dodge. The former Lehigh University student, charged with trying to poison his roommate, has been accused of trying to flee the US while authorities investigated him, ABC 7 reports. County prosecutors in Pennsylvania say the Chinese national nearly arranged his own deportation after his family posted $200,000 bail, per the Morning Call. With Yang released, ICE picked him up with an eye to deporting him—"which meant he was going to get on a plane and go home," says District Attorney John Morganelli. "It appears to us it was a good strategy. Luckily we got a heads-up on it and we were aware of it."

Illegally in the US with a revoked student visa, Yang apparently figured he could waive his right to a deportation hearing and be sent out of the country—but "that will not happen," says Morganelli. ICE has returned Yang to county jail at prosecutors' request; another hearing for the 22-year-old chemistry student hasn't yet been scheduled. Meanwhile, prosecutors are investigating whether Yang also tried to poison another Lehigh student. Yang is already accused of trying to kill his roommate of four years, Juwal Royal, by sneaking the chemical thallium into his food and drink. Yang was first arrested in April for allegedly scrawling racist graffiti like "N-word GET OUT OF HERE" on his black roommate's desk. (Read about a religious ceremony where 11 people mysteriously got sick and died.)

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