A Chinese man has been sentenced to death for fatally stabbing two officials at a roadblock quarantine intended to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The defendant, identified as 23-year-old Ma Jianguo, was accused of killing two officials at a roadblock on 6th February.
A court in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan has sentenced the man to death for the crime, according to reports.
A spokesperson for the Intermediate People’s Court in Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture said in a statement: “Ma ignored national laws when Yunnan was at the most critical stage of a public health emergency.
“[He] ignored virus control policies, leading to the serious consequence of the lives of two people being taken away. Such behaviour is considered intentional murder.”
According to reports, the defendant was driving in his car with another passenger when they were stopped at the roadblock.
Local media said the unnamed passenger got out of the car and tried to remove the roadblock despite warnings not to do so before Ma helped.
Roadblock official Zhang Guizhou began filming the pair and Ma reportedly took out a pocket knife and stabbed the victim in the chest multiple times.
When the victim’s colleague Li Guomin rushed to help his aid, Ma then killed him too.
Reports said that Ma had been charged with his second offence in five years after previously being prosecuted for assault, which was taken into account during sentencing.
To combat the spread of COVID-19 across China, many regional governments have imposed travel restrictions and roadblocks since late January.
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