Death sentence for man who killed toddler

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(APTN)

A Beijing court on Wednesday convicted a man of murder and sentenced him to death for hurling a toddler to the ground in a case that horrified the Chinese public.

The two-year-old girl was severely injured and died in a hospital days after the incident.

Her attacker, Han Lei, fled the scene, but police caught him the following day. In court, he said he thought he had been throwing a shopping cart to the ground.

The 23 July incident in a southern district of Beijing started with a dispute as the girl and her mother were waiting at a bus stop, the Beijing court system said in a statement on its official microblog.

The court said Han, 39, was looking for a parking space when he got out of his car, telling the mother that the carriage was in his way for parking.

It said Han beat the woman to the ground, grabbed the girl from her carriage and raised her above his head before throwing her to the ground.

State media quoted Han saying in court that at the time he didn’t know it was a baby carriage and thought it was a shopping cart.

China’s state television broadcast the presiding judge reading the verdict.

A second man, Li Ming, who drove Han away from the scene, was sentenced to five years in prison for hiding the suspect.

Han’s lawyer said that his client hadn’t intended to cause the girl’s death, but the Beijing Number 1 Intermediate People’s Court convicted him of murder and gave him the death penalty.

The public prosecutor provided as evidence surveillance video that captured the crime on 23 July.

In the footage, Han Lei is seen hurling the cart against the ground, according to the public prosecutor.

Han’s death sentence will be reviewed by the Supreme People’s Court, as required of all death penalties in China.

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