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September 5, 2009

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Accused murderer shows no regret

A MAN who has admitted stabbing and strangling his 88-year-old adoptive mother to death and injuring his former daughter-in-law showed no signs of remorse in a city court hearing yesterday.

The chief judge handling the case at the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court called Mao Xingguo, 64, "extremely presumptuous."

Mao, a Shanghai native who was adopted by the victim, Liu Wenmei, as a baby, told the court he hated his adoptive mother after she took successful legal action in a district court to have Mao's son removed from her apartment. Mao said the district court believed his son "abused" Liu and its decision in Liu's favor tarnished his son's reputation.

Mao said if his son moved out and lived in Mao's home in Pudong's Nanhui area, it would be too tiring to travel two hours every day to work.

Unsatisfied with the district court's verdict, Mao told his son not to appeal and instead plotted a deadly course of revenge.

He told his son to turn on his computer microphone before going to work every day and record Liu's conversations before May 1, the court-ordered moving-out deadline.

Mao learned from recordings that Liu wanted to sell the apartment to his former daughter-in-law, Hu Feihong. Hu had helped Liu in the lawsuit.

On the morning of April 27, Mao carried a knife and a rope to Liu's residence as he learned Liu would sign a property contract with Hu that afternoon, the court heard.

"I wanted to persuade her to allow my son to continue to live in her room. If she refused, I planned to kill her," Mao told the court.

Liu turned down Mao's request so he stabbed her and strangled her with the rope.

After Liu died, Mao put her body on the sofa and waited for Hu because he wanted to kill her as well, prosecutors alleged.

A police officer came after receiving a call from a neighbor reporting strange noises. Mao said nothing was amiss and the officer left.

"I didn't surrender myself to the police at that time because I wanted to kill Hu," Mao said.

When Hu came with her sister and brother-in-law, Mao allegedly stabbed her.

Hu ran out of the room but Mao chased her. Hu was rescued from further attack by her sister and brother-in-law and sustained only minor injuries.

Mao then surrendered to neighborhood community members.

The intermediate court did not announce a verdict yesterday.


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