Engineer Who Allegedly Poisoned Colleague Pleads Not Guilty

A Berkeley engineer who allegedly poisoned a co-worker’s food on at least two occasions pleaded not guilty to felony charges on Thursday.

A judge has placed a $2 million bail for 34-year-old David Xu of Lafayette who is facing multiple felony charges, including attempted murder. He was arrested last week and charged with trying to kill a colleague by mixing a toxic substance into her food and water multiple times since 2017, according to court records.

The pair worked at Berkeley Engineering and Research at 808 Gilman St.

Court papers reveal Xu’s fellow engineer, who was not identified, had noticed strange tastes or smells in her water and food left unattended in her office and experienced “immediate and significant health problems” after consuming the food and water. There were times she sought emergency care at the hospital, police told Berkeleyside.

David Xu
Photo credit: Berkeley PD

Police obtained surveillance video from the woman’s office showing Xu adding a substance to her water bottle on two occasions, once on Feb. 11 and again on March 4.

Water samples taken from the bottle on those dates tested positive for a toxic amount of cadmium, according to police.

Xu faces a lifetime sentence if he is found guilty. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

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