The Ministry of Justice yesterday said a man convicted of killing two girls in 2003 and freed last year — only to allegedly brutally murder another victim a few days ago — was not released on parole, but as part of an amnesty program.
The murder of a woman in Taipei County’s Banciao City last week sparked criticism that the ministry had been careless in releasing someone who, because of his mental condition, continued to pose a serious threat to society.
In April 2003, the suspect, Chen Kun-ming (陳昆明), then aged 20, murdered his neighbor’s eight-year-old daughter and her 10-year-old sister.
In May last year, the ministry announced that Chen’s 2003 sentence of 12 years in jail and two years of medical treatment had been halved as part of an amnesty program implemented in April 2006. Because Chen’s crime was committed before April 2006, his sentence was reduced to six years in prison in accordance with the provisions of the amnesty.
Chen had therefore served his sentence by July last year.
He was then sent to a military hospital in Taipei, but in November last year the hospital informed prosecutors in charge of Chen’s case that his mental condition had shown substantial improvement. Soon afterward, prosecutors decided to end Chen’s treatment and allowed him to return home.
Police arrested Chen on Saturday after discovering a woman’s corpse at his home in Banciao. Investigators identified the victim as 27-year-old Chen Mei-yu (陳美玉).
Investigators said Chen Kun-ming placed a job advertisement in newspapers and enticed the victim to his residence in Banciao last week by saying he wanted to interview her.
Chen is believed to have committed the murder at his residence, investigators said.
Police said Chen has repeatedly told investigators: “I am mad. There’s a voice in my head telling me to kill” and “The devil in my heart made me kill.”
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