Fri, Jan 24, 2014 - Page 5 News List

Lack of sleep helps man dodge death penalty over murder

By Huang Wen-huang, Wang Han-ping and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

A 55-year-old man convicted of murdering the daughter of his former girlfriend escaped the death penalty on Tuesday after a court found that a lack of sleep triggered the crime.

The Greater Tainan District Court ruled that Wu Wen-hsien’s (吳文賢) “poor management of his emotions” was because he had not slept for three days prior to the murder.

It sentenced him to nine years and 10 months for attempting to murder his former live-in girlfriend, surnamed Pan (潘), and to life imprisonment for killing Pan’s daughter, surnamed Lin (林).

The ruling can be appealed.

On Sept. 23 last year, Wu attempted to enter the elementary school with a concealed knife where Pan worked in the kitchen after she ended their relationship over his drinking and gambling.

One of the school’s division chiefs, surnamed Huang (黃), blocked Wu from entering the campus and notified Pan of the incident.

Afraid of facing Wu alone, Pan telephoned Lin and asked her to meet her at the school after work.

The trio had a discussion at an open lot south of the school that devolved into bickering, with Wu accusing Lin of driving a wedge between him and Pan and causing their separation.

He then stabbed Lin in the chest and Pan in the abdomen. Pan and Lin tried to escape, but Lin was too injured to run and Wu stabbed her again in the chest three times.

Lin later died of massive blood loss.

Prosecutors indicted Wu for murder and attempted murder, and sought the death penalty, saying the crime was “highly reprehensible.”

Lin’s husband said the verdict was “utterly unfair” and vowed to appeal.

“He [Wu] is an animal. How could he do such a thing when my wife already called him ‘father’ and our children referred to him as ‘grandpa’?” Lin’s husband said.

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