Wed, Nov 14, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Man claims he shot woman believing she was a rabbit

DEFENSE The suspect told the police it was an accident, but prosecutors decided that it most likely was murder after taking a look at the crime scene

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A man was detained by the Nantou District Court yesterday on a murder charge for gunning down a woman who he said he thought was a rabbit.

The suspect, Hsu Ching-chao(徐景照), 41, fired four shots from a gas gun at Tseng Mei-ting (曾美婷), 41.

Police said Tseng and her boyfriend Chang Wen-ching (張文進) went to Chungliao Township (中寮) in Nantou County last Saturday to visit Hsu.

Police said the trio dined and drank at Hsu's residence in the afternoon. Tseng then went out to the vegetable garden outside Hsu's residence to collect some vegetables to cook, Hsu then took a gas gun from his house and shot Tseng.

Tseng was taken to hospital for emergency treatment, but died on Monday.

Hsu told police that as Tseng was crouched down in the vegetable garden, he thought she was a rabbit that was eating his vegetables.

Nantou District Prosecutors Office spokesman Song Kung-liang (宋恭良), however, said prosecutors had decided that it was probably murder after examining the scene.

Song said the incident took place at 3pm with good light. He said Hsu was just 7m from Tseng and the plants in the garden were only about 70cm high, so in the circumstances it was highly unlikely that Hsu's explanation was plausible.

Song said Hsu at first insisted that he thought Tseng was a rabbit, but on Monday he eventually admitted that he had murdered Tseng after they had quarreled.

Song said Tseng had taken out a life insurance policy which her boyfriend Chang stood to benefit from, but prosecutors did not know whether he was involved in the murder.

He said Chang had denied he had any thing to do with the murder.

The prosecutor said a test of Tseng's blood found she took sleeping pills before the incident, and prosecutors suspected Hsu attempted to make Tseng drowsy before he murdered her.

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