Tue, Jul 26, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Two sentenced to life imprisonment over child’s murder

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Hsinchu District Court on Friday sentenced Lee Ching (李靖), 26, and Chen Tien-hsin (陳天心), 31, to life in prison for the murder of a 12-year-old boy.

The victim, surnamed Lin (林), was a sixth-grade student at a Hshinchu elementary school whom Lee befriended, playing basketball with him after school. Lin was found strangled to death at Lee’s apartment on May 12 last year following a search by Lee’s relatives and police after his parents reported him as missing.

Police said that during questioning, Lee admitted to taking the boy to his apartment, adding that he wanted to commit suicide because he had no job, no money and was under stress.

Lee told police that Lin was his closest friend, whom he wanted to take with him when he committed suicide.

However, Lee said he could not bear to kill the boy, so he called his friend Chen to do the job by promising to give him money.

Upon entering Lee’s apartment, police found the boy’s body, and Lee unconscious. They said Lee had apparently sprayed the room with pesticide after sealing it in a suspected murder and suicide attempt.

Chen was arrested the next day, after surveillance footage showed him going into Lee’s apartment with Lin.

The court found Lee and Chen guilty of manslaughter. The ruling can be appealed.

Investigation had at one point focused on allegations of Lee having pedophilic tendencies, as his social media messages and photographs showed he had befriended a number of schoolboys, and nearly all of his friends were children.

It was alleged that Lee followed some occult beliefs, after an altar to Thailand’s “Kuman Thong” cult was found in his apartment and travel records showed Lee and Chen visiting Thailand.

Investigators said Lin might have been killed as an offering to the “Kuman Thong” deity, but Lee denied it, saying he had no particular religious beliefs, and the trip to Thailand was a regular tour.

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