A Chinese immigrant in Brooklyn has plead guilty for the brutal 2013 killing of his cousin’s family with a meat cleaver.
The State Supreme Court in Brooklyn sentenced Mingdong Chen to 125 years to life in prison on three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree manslaughter.
The New York Daily News reports that Chen stabbed Qiao Zhen Li, 37, his cousin-in-law, and her four children to death inside their own home because he thought they were “using” him to get a green card. The children were aged from 9 years old to 18 months.
The judge in the case explained the 125-year sentence: “I only would have accepted this plea if never again under any circumstances could he be free in society,”
“The minimum of 125 years and the maximum life sentence, gives a goal of public safety that he will never be a free person,” said Assistant District Attorney Mark Hale. “(The sentence) also was a desire to avoid the family to relive the worst day of their life.”
Before this appearance in court, Chen had been found unfit to stand twice. He told the judge he was on medications.
Following the hearing, one of the victim’s family members asked the prosecutor if she would be allowed to directly ask Chen questions.
“I want to know why he did what he did because we treated him so well,” she said.
Last year it was reported that Chen had admitted to committing the murders because the house had been too noisy and he was “unable to get good rest.” Other court documents record him telling detectives that “this happened tonight because I was thinking about not having a wife and job.”