Tue, Jun 21, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Murder convict’s sentence upheld

Staff writer, with CNA

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a life sentence against a Filipino man convicted of killing a grocery store owner, sexual assault and robbery in then-Taoyuan County in 2014.

It was the final ruling in the case of defendant Darwin Gorospe Sarmiento, 33.

A district court in February last year found Sarmiento guilty of murder and sentenced him to death, but that sentence was later commuted by the Taiwan High Court to life imprisonment.

The Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s ruling, saying that Sarmiento did not intend to kill the victim, surnamed Lin (林), but only to rob the grocery store in Lujhu Township (蘆竹).

The High Court had taken into consideration that Sarmiento was under severe financial pressure because of his daughter’s medical bills, the Supreme Court said.

Sarmiento’s daughter has a congenital heart defect

Surveillance camera footage from the store showed Sarmiento knocking Lin unconscious with a hammer, then stabbing him repeatedly in the neck with a screwdriver on April 11, 2014, before sexually assaulting Lin’s wife and stealing NT$300,000, the Supreme Court said.

It said Sarmiento had gone to the store to ask for a loan, but Lin declined his request.

Lin had sometimes lent money to migrant workers.

Police said Sarmiento had confessed to the crimes, saying he was in a bad mood when he went to the store to buy a telephone card and was angered when Lin told him to go home because the shop was closed for the night.

Police said Sarmiento had told them that when he hit Lin with the hammer, he did not intend to kill him, but eventually did so, fearing Lin would come after him.

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