No verdict for woman in US killing of husband

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2006, 12:00am

A Shanghai court has held a one-day trial of a mainland woman accused of murdering her student husband in the US, but has yet to announce a verdict.

During Monday's trial at the Shanghai No1 Intermediate People's Court, Chen Danlei, 29, from Sichuan , said she shot her husband He Lei last August because he wanted a divorce, newspapers reported.

Shanghai prosecutors attacked the defence for claiming the woman had psychological problems, which could be a factor in sentencing. He's family is seeking US$2.6 million in compensation.

'I'm very much afraid of divorce because my mother had a bitter life after divorce. She died after I went to the United States. I was worried about repeating her tragedy,' the Shanghai Morning Post quoted Chen as saying.

The couple was studying at Purdue University in Indiana. Chen said their relationship worsened and they often quarrelled.

She stabbed her husband in the chest on Christmas day in 2004 after he asked for a divorce. But he helped bail her out of jail and resumed living with her last June.

After He asked for a divorce again, Chen bought a gun and following an argument, allegedly shot him in the back of the head while he was sleeping on August 20.

Police found He's dismembered body in the boot of a car parked near Chicago's O'Hare Airport. But Chen denied she had cut up the corpse and said she paid US$2,000 to hire an American man over the internet to dispose of the body.

Chen was detained by police at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport on August 26 when she returned from the US and tried to enter China using her husband's passport, dressed as a man.