China executes man who murdered wife in Shanghai

A Shanghai man who killed his wife and hid her body in a freezer for three months was executed on Thursday, the Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People’s Court said.

Zhu Xiaodong, 30, was accused of strangling Yang Liping, also 30, during a dispute at their home in Shanghai’s Hongkou district on Oct 17, 2016.

The couple registered for marriage in December 2015.

In the two months before Yang’s death, Zhu bought books about death and murder and purchased the refrigerator that was later used to store Yang’s body.

Yang Liping and husband 2

After killing her, he wrapped the body in a red quilt and hid it in the fridge on the balcony for 105 days, during which he posed as his wife on social networking sites and in text messages to her parents and friends, according to the court.

Zhu turned himself in to the police on Feb 1, 2017, after inviting his parents over for dinner and confessing his guilt.

During a hearing at the Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People’s Court on August 23, 2018, Zhu pleaded guilty and said he was “willing to accept all punishment in line with the law”.

After he was sentenced to death, Zhu requested lighter punishment because he had turned himself in, confessed and expressed remorse for the murder, which he claimed was caused by marital and family discord.

At the second hearing at Shanghai High People’s Court on July 5, 2019, he was found guilty of premeditated murder, with the court citing the fact that Zhu stored Yang’s body in the refrigerator for three months.

It also found that Zhu transferred 45,000 yuan (S$8,800) from Yang’s bank account to his account and used her credit card to purchase luxury goods and pay for daily expenses and trips in China and abroad costing over 100,000 yuan.

A police investigation showed he had used Yang’s identity card to check into hotels while accompanied by different women.

The court upheld the original death sentence, saying there was sufficient evidence that Zhu had premeditated the murder and committed the crime in an extremely cruel way.