The Taiwan High Court yesterday upheld the death penalty sentence for energy-drink poisoner Wang Chin-chan (王進展), who was convicted of killing one person and injuring three others during a bungled extortion attempt.
The High Court’s Taichung branch said it found no reason to give Wang a lighter sentence, but added that Wang could still appeal the verdict to the Supreme Court.
Wang was arrested in May 2005 on suspicion of lacing Bullwild (蠻牛) and Paolyta B (保力達B) drinks with cyanide in an attempt to blackmail the manufacturer of the drinks, Paolyta Co, for NT$10 million (US$327,800).
He was convicted of killing one person and sentenced to death by the Taichung District Court in July 2005.
Chou Yi-kuei (周乙桂) died after drinking a bottle of poisoned Bullwild, while Chao Shih-fang (趙世芳), Lee Feng-ming (李峰銘) and Ho Han-shen (何漢森), became ill after drinking it.
The High Court said that Wang had admitted to the callous crime.
The ruling said Wang had poisoned nine bottles of Bullwild and two bottles of Paolyta B. Closed-circuit television camera footage showed Wang putting the 11 tainted drinks into refrigerators at 11 different convenience stores.
It said his actions had caused public panic.
During the trial, Wang defended himself by saying he had not intended to kill anyone, which was why he had made stickers that read “I am poisonous, don’t drink” and placed them on the bottles he had tampered with.
After Chou died and police released the security footage of Wang in various convenience stores, Wang said he became afraid and abandoned his plan to extort money from the company.