A Toronto-area jury found Chun Qi Jiang guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of his ex-girlfriend, Guang Hua Liu, 41, and dismembering her to cover the crime.
An investigation into Liu’s death was triggered when some of her body parts were found in waterways and parks in the Toronto-area in 2012.
The jury did not buy into Jiang’s surprise testimony that it was his mother, now deceased, who stabbed and chopped Liu’s body into several parts allegedly because she believed that Liu had stolen her jewelry.
However, they also stopped short of convicting Jiang of first-degree murder, which is what the Crown had been pushing for. Although the jury believed that Jiang had meant to kill Liu, their second-degree murder verdict, indicates that they found he did not plan it.
A first-degree murder conviction would involve planning and deliberate intent to kill.
To prove that Jiang had planned Liu’s demise, the Crown had to carefully reconstruct the events leading to the crime. However, proving this was difficult due to the absence of the one and only witness, Jiang’s mother, according to Crown Attorney Brian McGuire.
The task was further made difficult when Jiang destroyed some of the evidence, McGuire added.
Prosecutors alleged a love triangle between Liu, Jiang and another man turned deadly after Liu rejected Jiang and chose his rival.
Jiang’s testimony that his mother had committed the crime and that all he did was to help dispose of Liu’s body parts was obviously met with skepticism. Jiang said he had kept his silence to protect his mother but now that she has passed away, he was prepared to blame her for the murder.
The prosecutors suggested that it would not have been possible for Jiang’s mother to overpower Liu and avoid getting hurt in the process.
Both first- and second-degree verdicts come with an automatic life sentence. However, a person convicted of first-degree murder conviction has no parole eligibility until at least 25 years in jail have been served. A person convicted of second-degree murder can apply for parole after anywhere between 10 and 25 years.
In Jiang’s case, more than half the jury recommended to Ontario Superior Court Justice Gisele Miller that he be made to serve the full 25 years without parole.
If you are charged with a criminal offence, you are presumed innocent unless and until the Crown proves that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at your trial or if you decide to plead guilty.
You should consider retaining a criminal lawyer if you become aware that you are under investigation for an alleged crime. Further, if you are charged with a crime, you should retain an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as formal charges are filed against you or in cases of arrest, as soon as the arresting officer advises you of your “right to retain and instruct counsel without delay.”
For charges such as murder or a serious sexual assault, a preliminary hearing will be held first to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. A defendant also has the right to waive the preliminary hearing and be committed directly to trial. However, this is usually not advisable as it is important for a criminal defence lawyer to use the preliminary hearing to “discover” all aspects of the client’s case and develop appropriate strategies for the trial.
During the trial, the Crown prosecutor will be the first to present evidence in an attempt to prove your guilt. The defence can choose to call evidence to attempt to establish a reasonable doubt. Alternatively, the defence can decide not to call any evidence and argue the Crown has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Kruse Law Firm has the team of knowledgeable and experienced lawyers that you need working on your behalf. We have offices and criminal defence lawyers across the province to assist you and guide you through our complex criminal court system. Contact us today.