Shandong debt collector killer has sentence cut to 5 years

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/23 23:53:40

Yu Huan acted in justifiable self defense: court

The high court of East China's Shandong Province on Friday morning reached a verdict in the second trial of Yu Huan, the 22-year-old who fatally stabbed a debt collector while defending his mother, reducing his sentence from life behind bars to five years in prison.

The Shandong Provincial High People's Court found Yu guilty of "intentional injury caused by excessive force in defense," according to a statement posted to the court's official Sina Weibo account.

Yu's sentence was reduced as he was "defending" himself after several collectors beat him and his mother and one of them exposed himself to Yu's mother, the court said.

As Yu's actions can be defined as "justifiable defense" he should receive a lighter punishment.

Yu was sentenced to life imprisonment on February 17 by the Intermediate People's Court of Liaocheng, Shandong, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The verdict of the first trial, in which he was found guilty of "intentional injury," was withdrawn in the second trial and the new verdict shall be final, said the statement.

On April 14, 2016 10 people went to Su Yinxia's company in Guanxian county, Liaocheng to collect money for a local loan shark, allegedly insulting and assaulting Su and her son Yu.

Police arrived at the scene but left soon after without detaining anyone. Yu stabbed four of the debt collectors soon after including Du Zhihao, who died the morning after.

The case sparked heated discussion, especially after details surfaced that one debt collector had thrust his exposed penis at Yu's mother, with the public debating whether Yu's initial sentence was too harsh and whether his actions were justifiable.

The second trial did not confirm some details of the case reported on by the media.

Yu's retrial mainly focused on the reason for the appeal, the facts ascertained in the first trial, and new evidence produced by forensic investigations. Su Yinxia served as a witness in court.

According to Shandong's provincial news website in May, Liaocheng police were investigating an illegal fundraising case involving Su and Yu Huan's sister Yu Jiale.

"The case involves not only public opinion, but also the controversial legal issue of self-defense and excessive defense, regarding which the line is not so clear in practice," Wu Qingbao, a Beijing-based legal expert told the Global Times on Friday.

"It is very difficult for intermediate courts with many cases to deal with and little time to study each one to be accurate and give proper verdicts," Wu said.

"The involvement of public opinion, as well discussion on the Internet, in the media as well as among top legal scholars, caused high-level concern from the higher courts and the supreme procuratorate which helped to determine the nature of the case," Wu noted.

Posted in: SOCIETY,LAW

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