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July 8, 2010

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Property owner goes to prison for killing guard

A PROPERTY owner was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison for killing a security guard during a fight over a parking space last summer.

The Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled that Wang Yigang, 29, a Shandong Province native, was guilty of manslaughter as he intended to injure the victim, Ding Houyi, in the fight. Wang's lawyer denied there was intent to injure in a court hearing held last November.

Wang received a lenient sentence because he surrendered to police and had paid 700,000 yuan (US$103,245) in compensation to the victim's family, according to the verdict.

Wang and his wife drove an Audi sedan into a residential community in Zhabei District, on the night of June 10, 2009.

Because the car was partly parked on a green belt, Ding came over to ask Wang to move the car. The couple argued with Ding because they didn't want to park elsewhere.

Wang told the court that Ding, 52 at that time, beat him first and that he fought back. During the fight, Wang pushed Ding to the ground. As Ding fell, his head hit a cement curb and he began to vomit. He was sent to hospital quickly, but died two days later due to a brain injury.

The incident aroused wide social attention.

Some people attributed the incident to a conflict between the rich and poor while others said it was because the participants involved were from different parts of the country.

Some said Wang must be rich because he drove an Audi and owns an apartment in a decent community while Ding's family was rather poor. Besides, Wang comes from a northern province while Ding is Shanghainese.

Prosecutors denied all these theories in the hearing, saying Ding's death was simply caused by a common squabble that turned into a tragedy.


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