Kaohsiung police yesterday questioned a 21-year-old man and his 19-year-old girlfriend as suspects in the stabbing death of the woman’s mother.
Prosecutors said they would charge the man, surnamed Han (韓), with murder, while the woman, surnamed Cheng (鄭), was being investigated as an accomplice.
The incident happened on Saturday morning in the parking lot of a fruit and vegetable market in Dashe District (大社), where Han allegedly stabbed Cheng’s mother in the face following an argument, prosecutors quoted witnesses as saying.
The 46-year-old woman was rushed to a hospital, where she died of her injuries.
Video footage allegedly shows Han stabbing Cheng’s mother, after which Cheng is seen crouching down beside her mother, crying.
Han then pulls her away and they apparently flee the scene on a scooter.
Police tracked down the couple through street surveillance cameras and found them about four hours later at Han’s parents’ residence in Nanzih District (楠梓), prosecutor Wang Po-tun (王柏敦) of the Ciaotou District Prosecutors’ Office said.
During questioning, Cheng broke down sobbing after learning that her mother had died, while Han was quoted as saying: “I had no idea it would be so serious.”
An initial examination by coroners found two knife wounds, one on the left cheek and another on the neck, which severed major arteries resulting in a loss of blood that led to her death, Wang said.
Investigators quoted members of Cheng’s family as saying during questioning that Han was angry at Cheng’s mother for opposing their relationship.
Han’s Facebook page had pictures of the couple kissing and embracing, with Han referring to Cheng as “my wife” and describing marriage plans for next year.
“Cheng was listed as an accomplice after their communication records were examined, because she informed her boyfriend that she was going with her mother to the Dashe market on Saturday morning,” Wang said.
“It was likely premeditated murder, as investigators found that Han had bought a fruit knife the day before, which he used to stab the victim, and we believe that [Cheng] might have assisted in planning the crime,” he said.
The couple allegedly planned to hide in another city after the attack, Wang said, citing their mobile phone communication records.
A court approved their detention with their communication restricted, citing the likelihood of flight, collusion and tampering with evidence.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
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