Vietnamese mother jailed for killing son in 'resurrection' ritual

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Huynh Lan Thao, 43, stands trial in Ho Chi Minh City on May 9, 2016. Photo: Ngoc Le/Thanh Nien Huynh Lan Thao, 43, stands trial in Ho Chi Minh City on May 9, 2016. Photo: Ngoc Le/Thanh Nien

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A court in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday sentenced a woman to three years in jail for strangling her 14-year-old son to death when she was trying to cure his mental illness and turn him into a god. 
The court heard that Huynh Lan Thao, 43, and her son Huynh Son Vy started to perform superstitious rituals in 2013, during which the boy usually performed as a medium.
In one of the rituals in February 2014, Thao and four others, including two women, strangled him with a string of cloth until the boy fainted.
Thao urged the others to keep strangling him, claiming that the boy would be resurrected later as a god. The boy never woke up. 
Police said he had suffered from severe depression since 2012 and had to quit school. 
Thao told the court that she only wanted to help her son.
“He was strangled many times before, and he always seemed to get better,” Thao said in tears. “I deeply regret losing my own son.”
The women who helped her were given suspended sentences of up to 2.5 years.

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