Five cult members accused of brutally beating a woman to death at a Shandong Mcdonald’s in May were seen smiling as they appeared in court yesterday.
The five suspects, including 55-year-old Zhang Lidong and his two daughters, 30-year-old Zhang Fan and 18-year-old Zhang Hang, were all members of the Quannengshen, or Almighty God, sect. All five were charged with murder and three were charged with illegal cult activities, according to Shanghai Daily.
Cell phone video footage taken at the Zhaoyuan Mcdonald’s in Shandong province on May 28 shows the group violently beating a woman, 37-year-old Wu Shuoyan, after she refused to give them her phone number in a recruitment attempt.
They beat her so severely that a steel mop was broken, and after Wu fell on the ground, they continued to attack her, using the mop to hit her on the head. During the attack, Zhang Hang could be heard yelling “You are not good. You are evil.”
The suspects were caught at the scene and formally arrested on June 2.
Later, in an interview with CCTV, Zhang Lidong said of the victim: “She is the devil and evil spirits. We had to beat her to death. We don’t consider or fear laws. We only believe in God.”
In court yesterday, Zhang Lidong stood calmly and occasionally was seen smiling, according to the Daily, citing Xinhua. His daughter Zhang Fan also smiled when she addressed the court, and denied murdering the woman.
[Image via Xinhua]