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Man sentenced to death with reprieve for stabbing bus driver

THE passenger who fatally stabbed a bus driver over the volume of the onboard television was given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve today, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court says.

The 41-year-old convict, Lin Zhong, was also ordered to pay 630,000 yuan (US$98,935) to the victim's family in compensation.

The court says Lin had an argument with the bus driver, Xu Yuanlin, when he was on Bus 909 to his sister's home around 10am on July 6.

Lin complained that the TV was too loud and asked Xu to turn down the volume. The driver said he could not reduce the volume and refused to switch off the set.

Lin then said he wanted to get off and demanded a refund for his 2-yuan (US$0.30) fare. As he could not retrieve coins from the fare box, he decided to wait for someone who drops coins there, but other passengers all used prepaid cards to board the bus, the court said.

When the bus reached its terminal on Qinzhou Road, Xuhui District, Lin again asked for his money back and was refused again. Seeing Xu was about to leave the bus, Lin took out a flick-knife and stabbed the driver in the neck.

Lin chased Xu who covered his bleeding gashes with a hand and ran into the bus dispatch room, shutting the door behind at once. Lin continued to shout at Xu in rage.

Xu suffered severe injuries and died in the hospital a month later, the court says.

In the court, Lin apologized to Xu's family and regretted acting on an impulse that led the driver's death.

The court says Lin was sober at the time of his attack, which means it was an intentional homicide, although Lin suffered from schizophrenia before.


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