Suspended death sentence for family slayer upheld

Updated: 2007-11-22 06:55

GUANGZHOU -- The Higher People's Court in south China's Guangdong Province upheld a suspended death sentence on Wednesday for a mentally ill man who murdered five family members and an employee with a hammer.

Huang Wenyi, 34, was tried in an intermediate court in Foshan City,  Guangdong in April, and given a death sentence with a two-year stay on July 11.

The higher court upheld the verdict after reviewing case files and judiciary appraisals of the convict.

Court records show that Huang murdered his wife, Cai Qiuyi, his seven-year-old son, his mother-in-law, sister-in-law and a woman who worked in the pharmacy he owned with his wife at around 2:00 am on December 28, 2006, in his home in Nanhai District, Foshan City, after he quarreled with his wife.

One hour later, Huang lured another sister-in-law into a garden at Foshan No. 1 People's Hospital, where he killed her with the same hammer.

Judicial appraisals indicate Huang was mentally ill at the time of the crimes. Under Chinese law, leniency can be considered for mentally ill defendants.

Before the murders, Huang had feared he would be implicated after his relatives had been arrested for economic crimes, and he was also afraid that he would be murdered by his wife or others, according to court files.

Huang was arrested four days after the murders, on January 1, at a hotel in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong.

The sentence will be further reviewed by the Supreme People's Court (SPC), which got the right to review death sentences from January 1 this year.

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