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December 6, 2012

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Husband-killer gives up property

PAN Xueying, 73, said she regretted killing her husband after a fight about their house, and she said she was giving up any rights for the couple's common property in a hearing yesterday at the Xuhui District People's Court.

The woman, who strangled her husband to death around midnight on September 19, 2011, said she could no longer endure her husband's long-term domestic violence, triggered by family disputes.

Pan, diagnosed as having mental problems at the time of the killing, pleaded guilty yesterday to murder.

Pan married the victim, surnamed Li, in 1989 after a divorce from her first husband. She said Li's children wanted him to divorce her so she wouldn't inherit their property.

The family was to be relocated and their house in Shanghai demolished.

She told the court Li married her because he needed a person to care for his sick mother.

After Li's mother died in the 1990s, Li became indifferent and abusive, Pan said. She said she chose to endure abuse for nearly 20 years.

"An illiterate and rural woman as Pan is, she was unable to accept a second divorce," said Pan's lawyer. "Pan has no child but an adopted daughter. She didn't tell anybody about her experience."

Prosecutors said Pan and Li had a big argument on September 18. Pan, angered, used a cloth belt to strangle Li when the man, in his 80s, was asleep. "He insulted me, for I am a divorced woman.

He beat me and threatened to kill me with a knife in his hand," Pan said. "I didn't take pills in those days and my head was ready to explode."

Prosecutors said Pan told Li's children their father had died naturally, but they noticed a reddish mark on his neck.

"I was scared and I lied," Pan said.

Pan said she would give up any property rights to compensate Li's children. "After all, it was my fault to kill their father, no matter how bad he had been to me," Pan said.

Pan would not be given the death penalty due to having depression when the murder happened.

Her sentence is likely to be a prison term of more than 10 years, prosecutors said.


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