Temple killer appeals against death penalty

Updated: 2006-11-01 15:09

A northwest China farmer who was sentenced to death for killing 10 people in a Taoist temple made an eleventh hour appeal Tuesday, a day before the court ruling was to take effect.

Qiu Xinghua, 47, said he went on his killing spree because he fell into a rage when he saw Xiong Wancheng, the abbot in the remote mountain temple, flirt with his wife.

"I lost control. The only way to vent my fury was to kill," he said in the appeal, which was passed on to the Intermediate People's Court in Ankang, a city in Shaanxi Province, Tuesday.

The court sentenced him to death at the first trial on October 19 and also fined him 5,000 yuan (625 U.S. dollars). The ruling was given to him on October 21 and was to take effect in 10 days.

Qiu maintains that he is a victim too. "Who should compensate me for my trauma? My self-esteem should also be protected and the abbot and my wife should be punished too."

He is in custody in Hanyin County. The wardens said he has occasional tantrums but eats and sleeps well.

Qiu hacked to death the temple abbot, five staff and four pilgrims on July 14. He cut out the abbot's eyes, heart and lungs and fried them in a wok and used the victims' blood to write "Deserved to die" on the temple wall.

He killed another person during a robbery when he fled to neighboring Hubei province.

Qiu was caught in August when he tried to return home, after hundreds of police had pursued him for weeks.

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