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Killer of house seller receives death sentence
By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-28 06:12

SHANGHAI: A man who killed a woman he had gone to visit to discuss buying her apartment has been given the death penalty.

Guo Dawei, 28, from Shanxi Province, stabbed Qian Hui, an alias, 13 times in a frenzied knife attack at the property at Pudong New Area last year.

He had gone to the flat after responding to an advert the 24-year-old had posted on the Internet to try to sell it.

Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's Court yesterday announced the death penalty against Guo. It also ordered him to compensate the victim's family 361,820 yuan (US$44,669).

According to a statement from the court, Guo went to the apartment that morning with a dagger and a MP3 player, which recorded the whole process of the murder. Guo told the court that he only brought the player to record the woman's credit card passwords.

During the visit on the morning of July 21, 2004, Guo claimed he found water leaks in the first floor bathroom of the duplex and asked her to take a look.

He then stabbed her 13 times, said the victim's older sister, who asked not to be named. "Every stab would have been fatal," she said.

Guo stole three credit cards, two cellphones and some of Qian's belongings after the killing.

According to the sister, Guo went shopping after leaving the apartment.

"He bought a gold necklace, a gold ring and some clothes," she said.

The following day, the sister asked a friend to visit her apartment as she had been unable to contact her. The body was discovered and the police were called.

In the afternoon of the next day, with the information shown on Qian's cellphones, Guo called her mother and sister, claiming he had kidnapped Qian and ordered them to put 30,000 yuan (US$3,704) on each of the three credit cards.

While the sister knew Guo had already killed Qian, the mother, who was on her way to Shanghai from the family's hometown in Jiangsu Province, knew nothing about the murder.

She asked her eldest daughter to deal with the case, but was told the truth when she arrived in Shanghai.

Guo was arrested three days later with the help of the family. From his apartment, the credit cards, cellphones and the victim's driving licence were found.

The court statement said that Guo's lawyer claimed that he had mental health problems and was unaware of his own behaviour at that time. The lawyer told the judges that Guo's grandfather, mother and sister also had mental problems.

But an examination from relevant departments ruled out him being mentally ill, and the court did not accept the defendant's arguments.

The court did not release whether Guo has appealed to a higher court or when the execution would be.

"We still have doubts with the result of the investigation," Qian's sister said after the hearing. She believes that there were other people involved in the case.

"The credit card he used to shop clearly shows that it belongs to a woman, instead of a man,

"But how could he manage to pay by it in four shopping places."

She said her family was still trying to investigate the murder by themselves.

(China Daily 12/28/2005 page3)

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