A former medical student at Fudan University who is facing murder charges after poisoning his roommate stood trial yesterday at the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court, remaining adamant that the crime did not stem from jealousy or petty arguments, but was all just ‘an April Fool’s joke’ gone wrong.
Xinhua reports that the alleged murder has prompted “a national outcry and soul-searching on the moral education of Chinese youth”.
According to previous reports, Lin Senhao, 27, was arrested in April when his roommate, Huang Yang, fell ill after drinking from a water dispenser in his dorm room and died several days later due to organ failure caused by poisoning.
Lin, a postgraduate medical student, admitted to poisoning his roommate, telling police that he’d stolen the highly toxic chemical N-Nitrosodimethylamine from a lab at Zhongshan Hospital and dropped some 50 milliliters into the water dispenser they shared in their room.
At the time, Lin was an intern at the hospital, Shanghai Daily reports:
Huang felt sick after drinking from the dispenser on the morning of April 1 and died in Zhongshan Hospital 15 days later, the court heard.
Lin told the court he had only planned to make Huang feel sick because Huang had talked about fooling others.
He claimed the poisoning was a spur-of-the-moment act after hearing Huang’s talk about April 1 being a day of pranks.
“April Fool’s was coming, and Huang Yang said he planned to play tricks on others, so I thought, fine, I will give you one first,” Lin told the court. “I heard Huang drinking water from the dispenser. He took a mouthful of water and spat it out,” Lin said.
“I pretended to be asleep because I was afraid he would ask me about the water.”
Lin told the court that Huang had vomited, and although he saw his roommate sick in bed, he didn’t talk to Huang because he was scared.
Huang was later admitted to the hospital, where the told doctors that the water had tasted strange, so Lin washed the dispenser and barrel that that night in hopes to remove traces of the deadly chemical.
Lin said that he never thought Huang would die since he had only consumed a small amount, and he had experimented previously with the chemical using rats, many of which had survived.
Prosecutors, however, said that Lin should have known the amount would be fatal, and believe that he had intended to kill Huang because he kept silent as his roommate’s condition worsened.
“I was reckless and I have nothing to defend,” Lin said in court. “I am sorry to Huang’s family and I am sorry to my parents.”
The court has not yet reached a verdict, but Huang’s father is hoping that Lin will be sentenced to death, he told Shanghai Daily—”a life for a life”.