The energy-drink poisoner, Wang Chin-chan (
"Wang laced Bullwild (
According to the Criminal Code, Wang can appeal the sentence to the Taiwan High Court. However, reporters asked Wang whether he would appeal the suit after the verdict was delivered. Wang responded by shaking his head, but said nothing.
TV news reports, with their usual reliance on speculation, interpreted Wang's gesture as meaning he would not appeal the case to the high court.
The presiding judge said Wang had poisoned nine bottles of Bullwild and two bottles of Paolyta B. Closed-circuit television cameras recorded Wang putting the 11 tainted drinks at 11 different stores.
The presiding judge said Chou Yi-kuei (周乙桂) died after he drank a bottle of poisoned Bullwild. Chao Shih-fang (趙世芳), Lee Feng-ming (李峰銘) and Ho Han-shen (何漢森) became ill after drinking the drinks.
During the trial, Wang defended himself by saying that he had not intended to kill anyone, which was why he had made stickers that read "I am poisonous, don't drink," and had placed them on the bottles he had tampered with.
The prosecutor in charge of the case questioned Wang during the trail, asking him that since "there was a man who died because of you, don't you feel sorry about what you have done?"
Wang responded by crying and saying that he deserved a death sentence.
However, the presiding judge said yesterday that Wang should have anticipated the deaths that would result from people drinking the poisoned drinks, and that the court therefore considered Wang to have had the intent to cause harm and kill people.
Wang told judges during the trail that a Chinese national, "Zhang Chi" (
The presiding judge said that Wang could offer no details about Zhang and had no information about where he might be contacted, so the judges said there was no reason to believe Zhang exists.
The presiding judge said Wang poisoned the energy drinks in an effort to blackmail the manufacturer, Paolyta Co, for NT$10,000,000 (US$320,000). But after Chou died and police released the security footage of Wang in various convenience stores, Wang became afraid and abandoned his plan to extort money from the company.
The presiding judge said Wang planned to make threatening calls from China and to direct the beverage company to deposit the sum in a bank account there.
The judge added that Wang decided to blackmail the drink company because he had more than NT$1 million in debts.
Wang had robbed a bank at CKS International Airport in 1993. He stole more than NT$5 million, but was arrested eight days later. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and was paroled in 2003.