Chinese authorities have arrested a convicted murderer who had been released early from prison before he allegedly pummelled a pensioner to death for reminding him to wear a mask.
The incident has caused public uproar after court documents revealed that Guo Wensi, 38, had his life sentence for murder reduced nine times, resulting in early release just 15 years after he throttled his girlfriend to death in a hotel room in 2004.
Beijing Second People’s Procuratorate said Guo was detained on 28th March over the death of city resident Mr Duan, 72.
On 14th March, Mr Duan was queuing with Guo inside a local supermarket when the pensioner reminded the suspect to wear a surgical mask during the pandemic.
Guo allegedly responded by pushing Mr Duan to the floor and landing repeated blows to his head, inflicting fatal injuries from which the senior citizen ultimately died on 20th March.
Guo fled the scene, injuring two supermarket staff members as he went, officials added.
Guo has been on early release since 24th July 2019, public documents from Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court show.
He was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Duan Jiani, 21, by throttling her to death inside a hotel room on 29th August 2004 after she tried to break up with him, reports said.
The couple both studied at Beijing University of Technology, and it was one of the most high-profile murder cases of the last decade before Guo was handed a life sentence in 2005.
However, members of the public were shocked to learn Guo was released from prison on 24th July 2019 after just 14 years plus time already served.
Beijing court files show Guo was granted reduced sentences nine times for good behaviour and for showing remorse.
Social media user ‘Zhaolao Kuanya’ wrote: “I didn’t know you only needed to do 14 years for life sentences.”
‘Renlei Mihuo Xingweibot’ added: “Nine reduced sentences just so he can come out and murder again.”
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