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Child killer gets life for online-game inspired plot
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A Shanghai court sentenced an 18-year-old boy from Henan province to life in prison after he was found guilty of kidnapping and killing a 4-year-old boy.

The accused, surnamed Zhang, who was addicted to online games, worked as a waiter at a restaurant and was not able to live within his means," according to Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's Court.

On the evening of August 17 last year, Zhang enticed 4-year-old Xixi, who was playing in front of Zhang's restaurant, to come with him to an under construction factory.

Within five hours, Zhang killed the boy, the court said,

Zhang fed Xixi drinks mixed with sedatives to keep him quiet. When Xixi woke up later and started crying, Zhang hit him on the head with a brick, covered his mouth and put him into a plastic woven bag, the court said.

He then went to a supermarket and purchased an umbrella and a piece of towel. When he returned to the site and saw Xixi still moving, he put him into a man-hole upside down, and covered it with grass and bricks. Xixi suffocated to death.

Zhang returned to his restaurant around 11 pm. The next morning, he phoned Xixi's father, asking for a ransom of 200,000 yuan. Zhang's phone call was traced and he was arrested. He confessed he had been planning the kidnapping plot since early August, after taking an idea from an Internet game.

Zhang Yufeng, the manager of the restaurant, said Zhang liked to watch violent movies.

According to the court, Zhang, who committed the crime when he was 17, was spared the death sentence but given a severe term in jail because of the gravity of the crime.

Zhang and his family have been directed to compensate the victim's family with 550,000 yuan.

(China Daily May 27, 2009)

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