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Woman Laughed After Fatally Poisoning Boyfriend With Bleach: Prosecutors

By Erica Demarest | March 8, 2017 8:51pm | Updated on March 9, 2017 1:17pm
 Yasmine Elder, 24, is charged with first-degree murder.
Yasmine Elder, 24, is charged with first-degree murder.
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DNAinfo; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — The woman who fatally poisoned her boyfriend by force-feeding him bleach laughed when she heard the man might die, prosecutors said Thursday.

Yasmine Elder, 24, had been dating Darius Ellis, 26, for about a month when she picked him up from work in a minivan about 12:30 a.m. Monday, Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Carlson said during a bond hearing Thursday.

The couple got into an argument while sitting in the van, prosecutors said, and things soon turned physical.

Elder, who weighed 77 pounds more than Ellis, climbed on top of the man, pinned him down with her knee and held his dreadlocks to keep him in place, Carlson said.

According to authorities, Elder is 5-foot-3 and weighs 207 pounds. Ellis was 5-foot-7 and weighed 130 pounds.

Elder is accused of grabbing a bottle of bleach that was inside the van and dousing Ellis with the caustic liquid, causing bleach to go down his throat. Elder than left the van, prosecutors said, as Ellis could be heard yelling that he couldn't breathe.

Ellis drove the van to a friend's house, where he collapsed and began foaming at the mouth shortly after naming Elder as his attacker in front of multiple witnesses, Carlson said.

Witnesses called 911.

Ellis was rushed to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:26 a.m. Monday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. The cause of death was "complications from forcible administration of a caustic substance."

When a witness confronted Elder that morning and explained that Ellis might die from his injuries, Elder laughed, prosecutors alleged.

An autopsy revealed Ellis had rounded abrasions to his neck, cheeks and back that were consistent with fingernail marks. He had bruises and cuts on his cheek, head and back.

Damage to Ellis' esophagus and stomach were consistent with chemical burns, Carlson said. And Ellis' stomach contents had a pH level of 12-13; a normal human stomach should have a pH of 5 or 6.

Elder, of the 6400 block of South Paulina Street, was arrested Monday and charged with first-degree murder. According to authorities, she had what appeared to be a bleach burn on her hand.

Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. on Thursday set bail at $1 million.

Elder previously worked in a bakery and lives with her grandmother, great-grandmother and two uncles, Elder's public defender said in court.