Family of 4 sentenced to death for killing landlords
A family of four who murdered their landlords — another family of four — was sentenced to death by a court in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Friday.
The Qingdao Intermediate People’s Court said the four defendants committed heinous crimes with despicable motives and cruel behavior, causing huge social harm and bringing about panic in the local community.
According to the verdict, 40-year-old Li Zhongji, his 32-year-old wife Li Chenhua, and his adoptive parents Li Zhongzhi and Jin Shanjin, both aged 68, rented an apartment on the sixth floor of a building in Qingdao’s Chengyang district in October but failed to pay any rent.
The four, of Korean ethnicity, came from Northeast China’s Jilin province.
Their landlords, a couple surnamed Ji and Jiang who lived on the seventh floor of the building, urged them to pay their rent many times. Having no money, Li Zhongji decided to rob the couple and hold them hostage, and developed a plan with the other three family members.
On Nov 14, Li Zhongji tricked Ji — the husband — into their rented apartment, subdued him and bound him. Then they did the same thing to Jiang, Ji’s wife. When Jiang fought back, they smothered her to death.
They then strangled Ji’s 8-year-old son and 16-yearold daughter. When the daughter was unconscious Li Zhongji raped her.
Finally they killed the husband before taking cash of 4,700 yuan ($684) and several items including a 675-yuan watch from the victims’ home.
On Nov 15, the four defendants took a taxi from Qingdao to Beijing’s Changping district. They destroyed the mobile phones they stole from the victims.
They were arrested by police in Changping the next day.
The verdict also ruled that the defendants should pay funeral expenses of 127,404 yuan and transportation fees of 2,000 yuan.
The four said they would not appeal.