Vietnam upholds death penalty for murderer despite victims' appeal

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Cao Trung Lap, 29, was sentenced to death for murdering a man and injuring three others in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17 / PHOTO COURTESY OF TUOI TRE

Ho Chi Minh City's highest court upheld a death sentence Thursday for a 29-year-old man convicted of killing a man and injuring three others during a robbery attempt last year.

The Supreme People's Court rejected appeals for lighter sentencing filed by Cao Trung Lap and his victims. Despite please from the victim's mother that killing Lap wouldn't bring her son back to life, the court decided that the convict was unable to be reformed.

In August, the HCMC People's Court gave Lap the death penalty to Lap for murder, "deliberately injuring others," and robbery.

According to the indictment, Lap snatched a bag containing the laptop of Hoang Ngoc Tri, 26, a new university graduate, on a street in Tan Binh District September 17.

Tri chased and crashed his motorbike into Lap's and they both fell into the street.

Lap left his bike and the stolen bag and ran, and Tri chased him on foot.

Lap then turned around and stabbed Tri in the heart with a knife, according to prosecutors.

Tri died in the hospital later that day.

Vo Sy Hoang, a police officer in Tan Phu District, and a passer-by named Nguyen Van Binh, had also pursued the suspect. Lap had stabbed Hoang behind the ear and Binh in his arms, prosecutors said.

Lap continued to run and accosted another man on a motorbike, Tran Van Nam. He asked Nam to give him a ride so he could escape and stabbed the latter in the hip when he refused.

Soon after, Lap was caught by local people as he tried to escape on a motorbike that was parked with its key in the ignition

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Lap told the court that he had not deliberately killed Tri and had not meant to injure the other victims. He said he stabbed them out of fear of being arrested.

Lap had been previously convicted of robbery twice.

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