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Killer appeals sentence

A MAN who was convicted of killing eight people, including a two-year-old boy, has appealed the death sentence handed down to him on Monday by the court, officials said yesterday.

The Intermediate People's Court of Suizhou in central China's Hubei Province said Xiong Zhenlin, 35, made a formal appeal against the death sentence on Thursday.

In his appeal, Xiong, who divorced last September, said he "drank himself into a stupor" before the killings and deserved leniency for his "good attitude" in confessing to the crime.

The spokesman said the appeals court ruling would be announced within 45 days.

Xiong, a junkyard owner, killed eight people in Luoyang Township, Suizhou City, on January 4 and was arrested in the provincial capital of Wuhan a week later.

The victims included five of his employees, a local resident who came across the scene, 43-year-old Zhu Deqing, who Xiong hoped to marry, and Zhu's grandson, according to the prosecution. The prosecution said Xiong's murderous spree was sparked by a belief he could never marry again: either his ex-wife or Zhu.

All death sentences must be reviewed by the Supreme People's Court before being carried out.


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