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December 21, 2012

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Brothers admit to killing, robbery

A PAIR of brothers on the run for 15 years admitted their roles in killing a woman and injuring an eight-year-old girl in a 1997 robbery at a cigarette shop in the city.

Heng Deli, 46, and his younger brother Heng Dejun, 43, were tried at the Shanghai No.2 Intermediate People's Court yesterday on the charge of robbery.

They were finally tracked down this summer.

The brothers arrived at the cigarette shop on Hulin Road in suburban Baoshan District about 9am on July 6, 1997. Heng Deli argued with a woman surnamed Zhang over a fake carton of cigarettes he had bought from Zhang earlier, the court heard.

Zhang refused to give back the money and Heng Dejun told the court he hit Zhang with a brick and stabbed her in the belly with a folding knife in order to help his brother.

"I didn't plan to kill her. I took out the knife out of instinct as she grabbed my hair and clothes," Heng Dejun said.

Heng Dejun said he got nervous and afraid when Zhang tried to pull down the rolling door of the shop. But he said he couldn't remember further details of how he killed Zhang.

Heng Deli said he went inside the house attached to the shop after hearing the cries of Zhang's daughter. He hit the girl in the head with a brick, the court heard.

Prosecutors said the brothers escaped with more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,605) in cash, a gold necklace and a gold bracelet, all taken from Zhang.

But each brother blamed the other one for the robbery.

Prosecutors called for a harsh penalty for the brothers, saying both had criminal records for larceny and Heng Dejun killed Zhang within three years of his release from jail.

According to the Chinese Criminal Law, recidivists face heavier punishment than new offenders.

The brothers were caught in June in Yangzhou City in the eastern Jiangsu Province. The trial has not yet concluded.

The suspects could face death due to aggravating circumstances if found guilty.


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