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Taiwan court upholds death sentence for man convicted of killing girlfriend, twin sons

Sentence can still be appealed in Taiwan Supreme Court

Taiwan High Court Taichung Branch Court. (Wikipedia photo)

Taiwan High Court Taichung Branch Court. (Wikipedia photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan High Court’s Taichung Branch Court upheld on March 29 the death sentence for a man who killed his girlfriend and their two sons in November 2019.

According to the sentencing documents, Chen Hung-chia (陳宏嘉) and his girlfriend, also surnamed Chen (陳), lived together with their 10-month-old twin boys. Chen's girlfriend worked as a hostess while Chen, who was unemployed, stayed home to take care of their sons.

Chen was reportedly unhappy with his girlfriend’s job, which required her to have frequent contact with male customers, the documents say. During a quarrel on Nov. 3, 2019, Chen strangled her to death.

About 12 hours later, Chen became concerned over the difficulty of finding someone to take care of his sons, as well as how they would treat him when they grew up. He then put them in a washing machine with thick blankets.

An autopsy later confirmed they died of suffocation, while Chen confessed to both their murders and his partner. After assessing Chen, the Ministry of Health and Welfare-run Tsaotung Psychiatric Center concluded that he did not have a mental disorder while committing the crimes.

In October 2020, Taichung District Court sentenced him to 13 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend and handed down a death sentence for killing his sons. Chen appealed the death sentence in the Taiwan High Court.

The High Court's sentencing documents said that Chen's crimes caused grave damage to the security of society and belong to the “most serious crimes” category, as stipulated by Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The court therefore rejected Chen's appeal and upheld the district court’s death sentence.

The sentence can still be appealed in the Supreme Court.