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Waitress who killed cadre freed

THE Hubei Province waitress who stabbed a township official to death after an attempted sexual assault was set free yesterday, even though a court found she used excessive force in defending herself.

The decision ended a case that sparked a firestorm of controversy on the Internet over the abuse of power.

In issuing its judgement, the Badong County People's Court said Deng Yujiao, 21, was guilty of assault and battery but was exempt from penalty for three reasons: She acted in self defense, she is mentally unstable, and she turned herself in.

The stabbing occurred on the evening of May 10, when Deng Guida, Huang Dezhi and other local officials visited the bathhouse at the Xiongfeng Hotel in Badong.

Deng Guida and Huang tried to talk hotel waitress Deng Yujiao into having sex with them in return for money and continued to pester and insult her after she refused, authorities said.

She said she tried to leave but was stopped by Deng Guida and pushed to a sofa. Believing she was about to be raped, the young woman attacked the officials with a fruit knife.

Deng Guida, 44, director of the business promotion office in Yesanguan town, died of his injuries, and his 41-year-old colleague was injured.

Medical experts later found that Deng Yujiao suffers from manic depression, limiting her legal responsibility for her actions.

After the verdict, Deng told Xinhua news agency that she was surprised by the judgement. The woman thought she would be punished severely because of the killing.

She expressed gratitude to her family and to the public, Netizens in particular, for their concern and support.

She said the first thing she should do now is to have her mental disorder treated and then try to find a new job, learn a new skill and lead a peaceful life.

Supporters have portrayed Deng Yujiao as a folk hero who lashed out against injustice, posting songs and poems praising her on the Internet.

The All-China Women's Federation expressed concern about her case, and lawyers volunteered to represent her.


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