The Taiwan High Court yesterday upheld a ruling to impose the death sentence against Shen Wen-pin (沈文賓) for the murder of two people in 2012, while also upholding a life term for his younger brother, Shen Wen-hsia (沈文夏).
It was the fifth ruling in the case. In the first and second rulings, the judges handed Shen Wen-pin, 36, the death sentence, and again at a retrial at the High Court, at which the 30-year-old younger brother was handed a life sentence.
After hearing an appeal, the Supreme Court ordered the High Court to hold a second retrial, which still resulted in Shen Wen-pin receiving the death sentence, while the younger brother got a reduced term of 14 years.
Photo: Yang Kuo-wen, Taipei Times
In yesterday’s third retrial, the High Court upheld the death sentence for Shen Wen-pin and handed Shen Wen-hsia the original life term.
The latest ruling said Shen Wen-pin had been in a domestic dispute after his wife, surnamed Chang (張), divorced him and left home.
Along with his younger brother, Shen Wen-pin drove from New Taipei City to Yilan County to in December 2012 to look for her at the Chang family residence, the ruling said.
They found a woman surnamed Pan (潘), whom they knew was the girlfriend of Chang’s brother, talking to her neighbor, a man surnamed Lu (呂).
Shen Wen-pin took out a handgun and kidnapped them, ordering Pan and Lu to get into the car.
He then drove around trying to locate Chang, believing the two hostages knew where she was living, the court heard.
Unable to find Chang, Shen Wen-pin drove the car to a rural location in New Taipei City’s Sansia District (三峽) and the two brothers attacked Pan and Lu, before throwing them into a drainage ditch.
The brothers then drove the bodies to a hospital parking lot in Sansia, left the bodies in the car and fled, the ruling said.
“Shen Wen-pin had no personal feud, nor connection to the two victims, yet due to his search for his former wife, he took them hostage and then drowned them,” the judges said. “Before they drowned, the two victims would have suffered at least five minutes of fright and pain. The crime shows that Shen Wen-pin has a vicious nature and showed no respect for human life.”
“If Shen Wen-hsia had any conscience or mercy in his heart, he could have refused to cooperate in the crime. As he did not refuse, and assisted in the killing, it shows that he also has a cruel nature and was callous in carrying out the murders,” the ruling said.
Shen Wen-hsia was only handed a life prison sentence because he had testified and helped investigators by showing them where the drownings took place, the ruling said.
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