A university student, who had allegedly stabbed a young mother to death and injured two other passers-by in October, went on trial yesterday in the city of Xian in Shaanxi province.
More than 400 local college students watched the trial at the city's Intermediate People's Court.
Yao Jiaxin , a 21-year-old student at the Xian Conservatory of Music, knocked down cyclist Zhang Miao on October 20 while driving his car at about 11pm. Yao said that when he saw her staring at him and his car's number plate, he lost his mind and killed her, according to the Xian Evening News.
While rushing off, Yao knocked down two other passers-by, a man and a woman. Police traced Yao two days later and detained him on a suspicion of murder the next day.
Yao could receive the death penalty if convicted of murder, but could be sentenced to 10 years' jail if convicted of a lesser charge over the killing.
The case sparked a public outcry after he admitted stabbing the woman seven times with a 20cm fruit knife just because he was afraid that the victim, who 'looked like a peasant', would be disabled because of the accident.
However, police said Zhang, 26, the mother of a two-year-old boy, suffered a fractured left leg and other minor injuries.
She was going home from her temporary job as an assistant at a canteen at Northwest University's Changan campus.
According to the media, Yao is a talented but spoiled youngster. His parents - a disabled soldier and a woman laid off from her job - spent their savings to give him piano lessons and paid 100,000 yuan (HK$118,000) so he could have a car.
The victim's family have asked the court for the death penalty for Yao and compensation of 500,000 yuan for their loss.
In October, Li Qiming, a drunken 22-year-old driver, sparked a nationwide outcry by shouting, 'Sue me if you dare, my father is Li Gang ,' after hitting two students, killing one and injuring the other, at Baoding's Hebei University.
Li Gang was deputy chief of the Public Security Bureau in Baoding's Beishi district.
The son was sentenced to six years in jail after the victim's family accepted 460,000 yuan in compensation and signed a letter of forgiveness under pressure from the authorities.
Accused Yao Jiaxin could be sentenced to this number of years in jail if he escapes a murder conviction: 10