Father, girlfriend get death sentence for killing children

(China Daily)     Updated : 2021-12-30

A policeman stands at attention outside the court in Nanan district of Southwest China's Chongqing municipality, July 26, 2021. [Photo/Chinanews.com.cn]

A father who killed his two children by throwing them out of a high-rise apartment window in Chongqing last year, and his girlfriend who prompted him, were both given the death penalty on Tuesday.

The Chongqing No 5 Intermediate People's Court on Tuesday morning announced the death penalty in the intentional homicide case of the father, Zhang Bo, and his girlfriend, Ye Chengchen.

The case drew a lot of public attention and sparked outrage online in the county, with many infuriated netizens calling for the death penalty without reprieve for the couple.

The court held that Zhang and Ye had conspired to kill both children by staging an "accidental fall".It ruled that the incident-whereby both children "fell" at the same time from the 15th floor of a high-rise apartment building on Nov 2, 2020-was intentional homicide.

The court concluded that Zhang took his 1-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter to his apartment from the custody of the children's mother, surnamed Chen, and later dropped them from the window.

The court also concluded that Ye had repeatedly told Zhang that she and her parents could not accept the fact that Zhang already had children, and she forced Zhang to commit homicide when he hesitated, finally prompting Zhang to commit the crime. Her role in the crime was equivalent to that of Zhang's, the court said.

The court held that their motive was despicable and the means brutal, resulting in an "extremely" bad social influence.

"The penalty is not my ultimate goal," the mother of the two children posted on her social media account after the verdict.

"I sincerely thank the court in making a fair judgment, and I hope everyone knows that the first verdict is just a beginning, because there will be a long process of the second verdict and the final verdict, during which the defendants might find many ways and excuses to alleviate their crimes," she added.

The verdict might serve as a warning for other people regarding marriage and family relations, said Nie Weichang, a lawyer with Beijing Dentons Law Offices (Chongqing).

"There is a high possibility that the court will uphold the original judgment if the defendants appeal the sentence," he said.