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April 24, 2014

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Leniency for killing stepfather

A 21-YEAR-OLD man who fatally stabbed his drug addict and gambler stepfather was yesterday shown leniency by Changning District People’s Court.

The young man, surnamed Ma, received a 5-year sentence for killing his stepfather, surnamed Zhang.

Zhang, who had been jailed several times for gambling and drug crimes, had threatened his wife and stepson to get money, the court heard.

Ma and his mother started living with Zhang in 1993, but he was never a father figure, the court heard.

“He seldom stayed at home,” Ma recalled. “He spent most of the time in jail or in a drug rehabilitation center.”

Zhang was released from prison again in August 2012 but showed no inclination to reform.

Ma had saved 25,000 yuan (US$4,008) to pay his mother’s overdue insurance policy, but Zhang demanded money.

When Zhang asked Ma for cash on June 28 last year, an argument broke out and Ma fatally stabbed his stepfather with a knife hidden beneath his computer keyboard.

In court, Ma said that he only intended to injure Zhang.

But prosecutors said because Ma deliberately hid the knife and stabbed his victim repeatedly, it was murder.

In view of his background, the court gave Ma 5-year jail term.

He could have been jailed for 10 years or even received the death penalty.


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