China Executes Couple Who Murdered Two Toddlers By Throwing Them Out Of High-Rise Apartment Window

(AFP) –  China has executed a couple for throwing two toddlers out of a high-rise apartment window in 2020, killing them.

The man and his girlfriend were found guilty of murdering the children from his first marriage by staging an “accidental fall” from the 15th floor of a residential tower in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, so that they could start a new family.

The Supreme Court sentenced Zhang Bo, the father of the toddlers, and Ye Chengchen, his girlfriend, to death for the premeditated murder of his two-year-old daughter and one-year-old son.

The couple considered Bo’s children as “obstacles” to their marriage and staged an “accidental fall” from the 15th floor of a residential tower in the southwestern city of Chongqing, the Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement, reported AFP.

The court found their motive to be despicable and the means brutal, handing them the death penalty in its original judgment on December 28, 2021, reported the China Daily.

The man and woman “violated both the law and moral limits” for the act that caused “a terrible social influence”, a Chinese court said while delivering the conviction verdict.

Bo had begun an extra-marital affair with Ye from China’s Chongqing municipality and soon after he divorced his wife Chen Meilin in February 2020, the two decided to kill the children.

After conspiring with Ye, in November 2020, Zhang threw his two-year-old daughter and one-year-old son from his 15th floor apartment when they were playing next to the bedroom window, killing them both, according to the court.

Ye was sentenced to death because she forced Bo to kill the children, the Chongqing No 5 Intermediate People’s Court said in its verdict.

The court said Ye did not want her future husband to have children from other women.

It said Ye and Bo began dating in 2019. Ye had allegedly asked the father to kill his two children on several occasions because her parents had objected to her getting married to a man who already had children.

The court documents revealed that Ye told Bo: “When the kids are gone, I will marry you… Why don’t you kill both since you will be killing anyway?”

“When Zhang Bo hesitated, Chengchen forced him to commit the crime, and finally he followed through with the murder,” read the verdict.

After he threw his children out of the window, he was seen by some neighbours crying beside them.

One of the children had died on the spot, while the other was declared dead in a hospital.

The couple appealed against the ruling, leading to a second trial that began at the Chongqing Higher People’s Court.

In May 2023, the court upheld the original ruling, submitting it for review before the Supreme People’s Court, as per legal provisions that require the top court’s approval for execution.