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Peking University student Wu Xieyu tells murder trial he killed his mother out of compassion not conflict


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Warning: Readers may find some of the detailed descriptions in the content of this article disturbing.
A former Peking University student accused of murdering his mother confessed to the killing but told the court the act was out of compassion rather than conflict.
Wu Xieyu, 25, is standing trial at the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in Fujian, for murder, swindling and buying identity cards. A verdict has not been passed.
On Thursday, Wu denied he was in conflict with his mother, Xie Tianqin, a middle schoolteacher. Instead, he said he thought she was one of the best people in the world, news portal Thepaper reports.
Wu – described by his classmates and neighbours as a “perfect student” with pre-eminent academic performances from childhood – said his intention to kill his mother was not related to her tough disciplining.

Wu told the court he decided to kill his mother after finding she had become “pessimistic” and was in pain after the death of his father 10 years ago, according to the news report.
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He said he was wise enough to guess what others were thinking and he believed Xie had wanted to die. Invoking a reference from a novel he said if you loved a person deeply, you would do what she dared not to. Wu thought he should help Xie by killing her.
It is alleged that Wu began plotting the murder from April 2015 by buying knives, meat choppers, waterproof cloth and a scalpel. He said he chose the date of July 10 to kill his mother, a reversal of Wu’s birthday – October 7.
Wu told the court he committed the crime by hitting his mother on the back of the head with a dumbbell while she was bowing to change her shoes after returning home.
After Xie was killed at their home in Fuzhou of Fujian and on seeing the horrifying scene, Wu said he gave up his original plan of committing suicide after his mother’s death.
“It’s so scary, so scary,” Wu said in court.
He allegedly wrapped Xie’s body with plastic sheets after covering it with clothes and quilts and putting activated carbon beside it to absorb the smell.
Wu said he cleaned the house, saying his father liked cleanliness. He also installed a surveillance camera so he would know when the police would come and investigate.
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He described his remorse to the court. He said the murder happened because of his firm belief that by killing his mother he would help her get rid of the pain.
“I had no better way out. If I had found a solution, I wouldn’t have done that,” Wu said. “At that time, I thought this method was the best.”
Wu was captured in April last year at an airport in Chongqing after three years on the run following the alleged murder. Police attention arose about six months after Xie’s death, when police found her body under her bed, wrapped in plastic sheeting and stuffed with activated carbon, commonly used as an air purifier.
When Wu was detained at the airport, he was allegedly found with more than 30 fake identity cards, all bought online. During the three-year exile, he is alleged to have used text messages or online chatting to borrow a total of 1.44 million yuan from his parents’ relatives and friends in the name of Xie. Wu told them the money was needed to fund his studies in the United States.
Some of his relatives attended the hearing on Thursday. Wu’s uncle and his father’s friends last year wrote letters to court appealing for a lenient verdict.
Wu told court he admitted he was guilty and accepted a serious punishment, but he wished to avoid the death penalty. He said he could be sentenced with labour and hoped to write his own story for others to learn lessons from his experiences.
Prosecutors suggested the court hand down a light punishment because Wu had admitted every detail and showed a good attitude.
This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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