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Student sentenced to death for killing mother

Updated:2021-08-27 12:12:40   China Daily

A former Peking University student who killed his mother was sentenced to death by a court in Fujian province on Aug.26.

The Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court announced the ruling in the case of Wu Xieyu, 26, saying he was convicted of intentional homicide, fraud and illegal identity card purchase. It gave him the death penalty, plus a fine of 103,000 yuan ($15,800).

Wu did not say if he would appeal.

According to a statement posted by the court on the Sina Weibo micro-blogging platform, Wu was pessimistic and world-weary, and even contemplated suicide. After his father died of an illness, he thought the life of his mother, Xie Tianqin, was meaningless, so he prepared to kill her in early 2015 and bought tools online for the purpose.

On July 10 that year, when Xie, then 48, arrived home, Wu hit her repeatedly on the head and in the face with a dumbbell, causing her death. He then put 75 layers of covering on her body, including bedsheets, plastic sheets, activated carbon bags and refrigerator deodorant, the court said.

To cover up his killing, Wu "borrowed" 1.44 million yuan from relatives and friends after telling them his mother would accompany him when he traveled overseas to study, it said, adding that he squandered the money.

Wu later bought more than 10 ID cards to hide his identity and avoid arrest, it said.

"Wu's behavior constituted the crime of intentional homicide, as he planned to kill his mother for a long time, with extremely vicious purpose and cruel means," the court said. "The killing seriously violated family ethics, trampled on normal human emotions and brought a greatly negative effect to society."

The defendant was also found guilty of fraud and purchasing identity cards, the court said.

"Although he confessed to the crimes, we decided not to leniently punish him, as his offenses were extremely serious," it added.

Wu's relatives told Beijing News on Thursday that they were dissatisfied with the result, having previously said they forgave Wu and hoped for lenient punishment.

The case came into the public eye when Xie's body was found on Feb 14, 2016, in her apartment in the faculty dormitory of a middle school, after her relatives became suspicious when they failed to get in touch with her for a long time.

Local police named Wu as the suspect after an investigation, and in March 2016 offered a reward for information leading to his arrest.

After being on the run for more than three years, Wu was caught in Chongqing in April 2019. He stood trial in December last year.

The case sparked huge social attention because of Wu's outstanding performance in his studies. Chinese media reported he was a top student at Peking University, a leading institution renowned at home and abroad.

But Liu Chang, a lawyer from Zhongwen Law Firm in Beijing, said such a reputation could not help Wu obtain lenient punishment under the Criminal Law, adding the court's application of the death sentence was appropriate.

Keywords:   death killing mother