RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A 23-year-old Riverside woman accused of plotting against two former boyfriends says she’s been misunderstood.

Barbara Wu was released from jail Monday night after spending 610 days behind bars.

Initially charged with planning to murder two former boyfriends, Wu pleaded guilty to lesser charges, which allowed her to be released.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said the decision to allow a deal was based on evidence and a desire to protect the victims from not having to testify at trial.

“They already testified at the preliminary hearing and so we know it was very difficult on them,” John Hall of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said.

At the time of her arrest, Wu was two weeks from graduating. She said that before her arrest, she was just an average university girl.

Prosecutors believed Wu was angry after the men ended relationships with her. In court, one witness testified that he dated Wu and that she had asked him for help in plotting to torture and murder one of her former boyfriends.

The witness testified: “He would be tied up and he’d be sitting there and there are needles where she would slowly poke it into his hands, his fingertips.”

But Wu said: “I said things I didn’t mean, and I wasn’t very smart about who I was speaking to.”

She told CBS2’s Tom Wait she was not a scheming, scorned ex-lover who plotted to torture and kill her former boyfriends.

“I was young. I was 21 at the time. So, I’m 23 now, so I’m older and I have a more mature way of approaching problems like that now,” she said.

Wu said domestic violence at home and in her relationships caused her to act out.

“I was just a very hurt girl coming out of breakup that had a lot of domestic-violence incidents,” she said.

Her attorney, Rajan Maline, said: “She never had the intent to do any harm or to kill anyone.”

As part of the plea deal, Wu will be on parole. She is not allowed to have any contact with the victims in this case for at least 10 years.

She told Wait she plans to finish school.


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