Policeman's death sentence appeal heard in SW China


The appeal hearing of a former policeman sentenced to death for killing a pregnant woman in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region was heard on Tuesday.

Guigang Intermediate People's Court heard the case of Hu Ping of Guigang City, who was sentenced to death for intentional homicide and ordered to pay 73,324 yuan (12,000 U.S. dollars) in compensation to the victim's family by Guigang Intermediate People's Court in February.

Police found that Hu was drunk when he shot a woman and her husband, who ran a noodle restaurant, on Oct. 28, 2013. The husband Cai Shiyong sustained minor injuries to his right shoulder, but his wife Wu Ying and their unborn child died after being shot twice by Hu.

In his defense during the first trial, Hu said Cai had tried to grab his pistol before he pulled the trigger. However several witnesses testified that Cai had not attempted to grab the gun until after his wife was shot.

On Tuesday, Hu denied that he shot three times, and questioned the reliability of witnesses Wang and Zhang. He also argued the firearm residue on Cai's sleeve proved he had tried to grab the gun which caused it to discharge accidentally.

Hu's lawyer handed over a petition by villagers from Yuwu in Pingnan county, Wu's hometown, asking for a leniency for Hu, and an "agreement of understanding" drafted by the defendant and signed by the relatives of the victim Wu Ying, including her mother and brother.

Prosecutors did not believe that Cai had tried to grab the gun before his wife was shot and claimed the evidence Hu provided to the court was irrelevant.

The verdict will be announced at another date.