Court upholds husband's death sentence in murder case

Updated: 2014-11-25 07:43

By Zhou Huiying in Harbin and Cao Yin in Beijing(China Daily)

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A court in Heilongjiang province has upheld a man's death sentence and his wife's life imprisonment for their roles in the murder, attempted rape and robbery of a teenager lured into their home.

Bai Yunjiang had been sentenced to death and his wife Tan Beibei to life imprisonment for killing 16-year-old Hu Yixuan after Bai attempted to rape her in July 2013.

Bai became emotional and interrupted proceedings three times on Monday when the Jiamusi Intermediate People's Court upheld the original verdict.

"I couldn't feel any guilt over Bai and was angered by his behavior in the courtroom," said Sun Hongbo, 43, the victim's mother, who attended the hearing and listened to the ruling with her husband and six other family members.

She told China Daily she could not accept life imprisonment for Tan, who lowered her head and remained silent when the decision was announced, but Sun said she will respect the law and the verdict.

"I hoped my daughter could ease the family's financial burden after she graduated, but then this tragedy happened," she said.

Sun said she has taken a job as a cleaner at a local government department, which pays about 1,000 yuan ($160) a month, adding, "Hu Yixuan was our only child, and I don't want a second one."

Wang Zhanjun, Hu's lawyer, said the defendants deserved their punishments.

The court said that on July 24, 2013, Tan, who was pregnant, pretended she had stomach pains and asked Hu, who was passing by, to escort her home.

Bai then gave Hu yogurt, which was drugged to make her unconscious, and attempted to rape her, the court added.

The couple then suffocated the girl, put her body in a suitcase and buried it, according to the court.

Bai and Tan were detained on July 28 and the body was identified next day.

Before Hu's murder, Bai raped two other girls in 2013. In both these cases, Tan lured the victims to the couple's home and gave them sedatives, after which the couple robbed the girls of their jewelry and Bai raped them, the court said.

At their trial in June, the defendants admitted their guilt and apologized to Hu's family.

The court said in the original verdict that Tan deserved a harsher punishment, but she was sentenced to life, because under the Chinese Criminal Law pregnant women should be treated more leniently.

The defendants were also ordered to pay 374,499 yuan in compensation to Hu's family.

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 Court upholds husband's death sentence in murder case

Bai Yunjiang and his wife Tan Beibei, on Monday hear the court's ruling, which upheld the original verdict. Liang Shubin / Xinhua

(China Daily 11/25/2014 page5)