Policeman in court after mother-to-be gunned down

Updated: 2014-02-13 23:58

By AN BAIJIE in Beijing and HUO YAN in Nanning (China Daily)

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A policeman stood trial on Thursday for allegedly shooting a pregnant woman dead and injuring her husband during a dispute in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Hu Ping, the policeman from Pingnan county, went to a rice noodle shop to buy food at about 10 pm on Oct 28, 2013, after drinking alcohol. Prosecutors told the court that Hu killed the female shop owner, named Wu, and injured her husband, Cai Shiyong, after arguing with them.

Wu was five months pregnant when she died.

Hu was apprehended by the police the same day, and the police chief of the county was suspended from his post as punishment by local judicial authorities on Oct 31.

On Thursday, prosecutors said that Hu deserves to be seriously punished because he "has poor legal sense" and "feels privileged" and "has bullied the people".

Hu broke criminal law by causing death and injury by shooting, and the evidence of his activities was clear and sufficient, the prosecutors said.

In his defense, Hu told the Guigang City Intermediate People's Court that he did not feel privileged. He said that the victim's husband had tried to grab his pistol before he pulled the trigger.

The prosecutors said Hu fired toward the ceiling after the shopkeeper told him that there was no milk tea on sale. He then fired another three times toward Wu and her husband — two shots hit Wu, in the head and hand, and the other hit her husband in the shoulder, according to the prosecutors.

A physical examination report made by Nanning No 5 Hospital showed that Hu was drunk but in control of his faculties when the shooting occurred.

The court did not issue a verdict immediately.

During the trial, Wu's parents claimed compensation of 1.23 million yuan ($202,800). The county government has already paid 700,000 yuan in compensation to Wu's family.

The issue of compensation raised concerns among the public, many people questioning the legality of the government spending taxpayer money to compensate for an individual's wrongdoing.

The county government responded that it was trying to help the victim's family get compensation early as it takes a long time to file a lawsuit.

The government said it would require the suspect to repay the compensation it pre-paid to the victim's family.

Chen Yiyang, Wu's lawyer, said that before the trial, the suspect's family tried to offer economic compensation to the victim's family in exchange for their forgiveness, but the offer was rejected by Wu's family.

Cai, the victim's husband, said he had to move his family out of the county after the incident because he could not bear his grief, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Contact the writers at anbaijie@chinadaily.com.cn and huoyan@chinadaily.com.cn