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Dad on trial in drowning death of retarded son

A FATHER went on trial for homicide in the drowning death of his 11-year-old, retarded and epileptic son by luring him into a river where he drowned, according to testimony in the court case that began yesterday at the Ouhai District court in Wenzhou city in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou City News reported.

The defendant, surnamed Zheng, confessed in court that he drove to a riverbank in a village on September 15. Zheng said the boy easily got excited at hearing coins flipping. On the day of the incident, Zheng threw three coins in the river and told his son to go search for them. The boy then slipped and drowned. Zheng called police and reported it as an accident. There were no witnesses.

Zheng’s ex-wife, surnamed Weng, became suspicious about her son’s death and reported her suspicions to police.

At the trial, Zheng said he was under economic and mental stress. Zheng considered his son a huge burden and said it cost him some 30,000 yuan (US$4,925) for the son’s medical treatment in one year. He remarried after divorcing Weng years ago and the son lived with his grandparents.

Tests showed Zheng also has a lower-than-average IQ but he was determined to be competent to bear criminal liability. 

The trial went until 7pm yesterday and ended without a verdict being announced. The prosecutor suggested a prison sentence of 13 to 15 years.


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