Man sentenced to death with reprieve for cutting off victim"s heacustom made rubber bandsd
A man who used a kitchen knife to cut off the head of a restaurant owner in Wuhan, Hubei province, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve by a court on Wednesday.
Hu Zedong, 23, decapitated the owner, surnamed Yao, during a dispute that erupted during Hu"s job interview at the restaurant in February last year near Wuchang railway station, according to the Wuhan Intermediate People"s Court.
After the bloody killing, Hu took Yao"s money, the court said. The police arrested him on the spot. Hu was charged with murder and theft, according to his lawyer, Yu Qiu.
The court ruled that Hu must pay 25,000 yuan ($3,800) to the victim"s family for funeral expenses.
The verdict acknowledged Hu"s limited mental capacity, which reduces his criminal liability, Yu said.
According to a psychological assessment, Hu"s IQ was only 69 so he couldn"t fully understand his actions. He had lost some control and his ability to comprehend, it said.
Under Chinese standards for the diagnosis of mental patients, Hu was identified as having mild mental retardation, it said.
According to expert testimony, the killing was not planned. Hu committed the crime alone in the restaurant and he was caught on the spot.
"Hu was not in full control of his own behavior, but he did not totally lose control, either. He didn"t kill the victim during a state of delusion," according to testimony released by the court.
Yu, the lawyer, said: "I took this case in an attempt to call more attention to protecting the rights of suspects during trials. The Wuhan Intermediate People"s Court did a good job with this."
Hu showed remorse and promised to compensate Yao"s family as much as possible. He did not appeal right away.
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