72-yr-old Taiwanese gets life sentence for killing wife in Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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Lee Ya Te during a court in Can Tho Province in Friday. Photo: Mai Tram. Lee Ya Te during a court in Can Tho Province in Friday. Photo: Mai Tram.


A court in Vietnam on Friday sentenced a Taiwanese man to life in prison for stabbing his Vietnamese wife to death in May.
The People's Court of Can Tho Town in the Mekong Delta found Lee Ya Te, a 72-year-old farmer from Tainan, a city on Taiwan’s southwest coast, guilty of killing La My Hanh, 48.
Besides the life sentence, the court also ruled that Lee would have to pay VND100 million in compensation for Hanh's family.
Speaking at the trial, Lee requested, through an interpreter, that the court sentence him to two years in jail, claiming he would need to return to Taiwan after serving time because of his aging-associated diseases.
He also refused to pay the compensation, claiming that he had no money.
Lee was arrested on May 3 when he was attempting to flee from Hanh's parents' house after killing her.
He was holding a blood-stained knife, which later tests confirmed to be the weapon he used to kill Hanh.
Le confessed to killing Hanh. He said he "got mad" and stabbed her when she said she was going to marry another man.
Marital abuse
Lee and Hanh met and got married in Can Tho in August 2013. Hanh then moved to live with Lee in Taiwan but she flew back home six months later and lived with her parents until she was murdered.
She refused to return to him although he asked her to many times on the phone, according to Lee.
According to her relatives, Hanh told them that she was heavily abused by Lee during the time she lived with him. Besides, neither she could speak Chinese nor he Vietnamese.
In March 2015, Lee came back to Vietnam to meet Hanh and insisted that she return to Taiwan with him.
When she refused, Lee splashed hot water on Hanh and even pulled a knife on her. Her family at first reported the incident to the local police, but later withdrew their complaint.
Lee paid a fine and flew back home, but returned to meet Hanh again two months later.
On May 3, Lee brought three knives to Hanh's parents' house and asked Hanh to returned to him, to which she refused.
Lee then demanded that Hanh paid him back the reverse-dowry of money and gold and asked if she was going to marry another man.
When she said "Yes," Lee took out a knife and stabbed her nine times, killing her on the spot.
Hanh's father La Vi Cuong said since Lee and Hanh could hardly speak each other's language, he didn't think his daughter actually told Le she was about to remarry.
Neighbors of the victim said that she was a vegetarian who always lived in harmony with others.
Her marriage to Lee was her second, ten years after her first husband passed away.


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