Gun violence in the US

Family of Chinese student Yue Jiang, murdered in Arizona road-rage attack, wants longer sentence for her killer

The cousin of Yue Jiang, who was 19 when she was shot to death after a traffic accident, is furious that Holly Davis will get a maximum of 25 years in prison, not life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2018, 5:43am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2018, 8:31pm

The family of a Chinese college student gunned down in a road rage incident in Arizona is pleading with a judge to reject an agreement lowering charges against the young woman’s killer.

The family of 19-year-old Yue Jiang travelled from China to the US this week to seek a harsher sentence for Holly Davis, the woman charged with fatally shooting Jiang after a car crash.

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“The plea agreement from the county attorney’s office demeans my cousin’s life and makes Davis’ meaningless life more important than Yue’s, who would have graduated with honours to become a productive and reasonable citizen and an asset to her community, city, state and nation,” said Katherine Xu, the student’s cousin, during a memorial and news conference on Monday in Tempe, Arizona.

The family is scheduled to speak before the judge in the case on Tuesday. Davis, who has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, will be sentenced on Friday.

Davis was charged with first-degree murder and other charges. But she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, which comes with a maximum 25-year sentence. The family says Davis should serve life in prison.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said prosecutors had worked with Jiang’s family and taken them into consideration, but it came down to “practical realities of the facts and circumstances” of any given case.

“Losing a loved one to violence is tragic, let alone losing them in a foreign country. Couple tragedy with the unfamiliarity of a foreign criminal justice system and confusion and frustration is not unexpected,” spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto said.

Jiang’s family says they have been left out of the process.

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Jiang was from the city of Chongqing in southwestern China. She was a sophomore studying business at Arizona State University when she was killed on January 16, 2016.

ABC News quoted police as saying at the time that Jiang was waiting at a stop light in a Mercedes when another car crashed into it. Jiang’s male passenger got out to inspect the damage and saw the female driver of the other vehicle walk toward Jiang’s car with a gun before she opened fire into the driver’s window.

“My cousin Yue was a kind, mature and responsible girl who served her family very well,” Xu said. “We were very proud of her, and we still are.”