Hog butcher turned wife dismemberer sentenced to death

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The Supreme People's Court in Da Nang handed a death sentence to a 42-year-old Nha Trang butcher, on Wednesday, for killing his wife and dismembering her body in an attempt to hide his crime.

The court said it had overturned a reduction of Tran Van Ban's to life imprisonment because of the brutality of his crime.

Ban and his wife, 36-year-old Tran Thi Hieu, had three children together and ran a small slaughterhouse attached to their home. The couple also sold pork at a stall in the Vinh Luong Market.

On October 29, 2009, Ban accused Hieu of giving their daughter VND10 million without asking him and became enraged. He attacked her with a chair, but Hieu's brother Tran Van Dai intervened.

While slaughtering pigs at their home in the early morning of November 2, 2009, Hieu began to scold Ban about his outburst. In a rage, Ban beat his wife to death with a thick stick and cut her body into parts.

He buried her remains, clothes, cell phone in a waste treatment cesspool near their home and covered it in fresh cement.

Ban then woke up his children and told them that their mother had run away. He also used Hieu's SIM card to text her best friend, saying that she had run off to Canada with VND350 million (current US$16,730) and her lover.
One week later, Ban informed police in Vinh Luong Commune that Hieu had gone missing before running away.

Hieu's brothers and sisters suspected Ban of killing Hieu and began to search for her body. After searching the slaughterhouse, they noticed that fresh cement had been poured over the cesspool. When they dug into the pool and discovered bones, they contacted the police.

On December 31, Ban turned himself in while police were in the process of identifying the body.
In June 2010, the Khanh Hoa People's Court opened a Court of First Instance and quickly sentence Ban to death.
Three month later, the Da Nang Supreme People's Court reduced the sentence to life imprisonment, citing several reasons Bans' family's history and his eventual confession and cooperation with police.
Most recently, however, the Supreme People's Court Chief Judge once again sentenced Ban to death.

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