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Mentally Ill Man Given Suspended Death Sentence
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A mentally ill man in south China's Guangdong Province has received a suspended death sentence for murdering five family members and an employee with a hammer.

Huang Wenyi, 34, murdered his wife Cai Qiuyi, his seven-year-old son, his mother-in-law, sister-in-law and a woman who worked in the pharmacy he owned with his wife at around 2:00 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2006, in his home in Nanhai District, Foshan City, after he quarreled with his wife, the Foshan City Intermediate People's Court heard.

One hour after the murders, Huang drove a motorcycle and lured another sister-in-law into a garden at Foshan No. 1 People's Hospital, where Huang killed her with the same hammer, the court heard.

But the court said the judiciary appraisal showed Huang was in a state of mental illness when he carried out the murders, and suspended the sentence for two years. Under Chinese law, leniency can be considered when courts mete out sentences for those confirmed to be suffering mental illness when they commit crimes.

Before the murders, Huang had feared he would be implicated after his relatives had been arrested by police for economic crimes and that he would be murdered by his wife or others, according to the court.

Huang was arrested on Jan. 1 at a hotel in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong. He stood trial on April 27 at the court.

(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2007)

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