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August 25, 2009

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Killer convicted 17 years after crime

A MAN was convicted of murder and sentenced to death yesterday, 17 years after the demise of his victim, whose bones were found in a Shanghai sewer last year.

The penalty was suspended for two years and Chen He, the killer, was also ordered to pay compensation of 765,643 yuan (US$112,015) to the victim's family, by Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.

Judges said Chen had an affair with the victim and killed her on July 22, 1992.

Chen dismembered her body, put the parts into plastic bags and buried them in a trench between two buildings under construction in a residential complex on Jianchuan Road.

The skeleton of the victim was not found until June 20, 2008, while workers were digging up sewers for gas pipeline construction.

A worker, surnamed Wang, found a plastic bag buried 80 centimeters under the ground. The bag contained a skull, bones and hair.

Police were called and told Wang to keep digging. Another bag was found containing more bones.

Police said the bones were the victim's, who at that stage had been missing for 16 years.

Chen, 51, was soon caught by police and confessed to the crime.

Chen said the victim, aged 37 and also surnamed Chen, demanded that he marry her but he refused as they both already had spouses.

They had a fight when she threatened to accuse him of raping her if he did not wed her, the killer claimed.

The court convicted Chen of murder and said he already had a criminal record.


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