Murderer sentenced to death
Du Shaoping was sentenced to death on Wednesday for multiple crimes, including intentional homicide, by a court in Huaihua, Hunan province after he was identified as killing and burying another man under a school sports ground more than 16 years ago.
Luo Guangzhong, who helped Du with the killing, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for the same charge at the same time, according to the ruling made by the Huaihua Intermediate People's Court.
The court said Du hired Luo to manage running track construction of Xinhuang No 1 Middle School after undertaking the building project in December 2001. Du was angry with Deng Shiping, who was asked by the school to be in charge of the construction quality.
On Jan 22, 2003, Du, with Luo, killed Deng in an office of the construction command. That night the two defendants buried Deng in a pit of the playground, and the next day, Luo ordered those driving forklifts to fill the pit up, the ruling said.
Since 2008, a gang of 13 people, led by Du, had been involved in organized criminal activities, including violent debt collection, interfering in civil disputes, disturbing the public order, affray, illegal detention and forced transaction, the court said.
Besides, Du also intentionally injured another man in April 2005, it said.
On Wednesday, 12 others in the gang were also given sentences ranging from one to eight years in prison by the court for the gang-related charges.
About 280 people attended the case hearing, including the defendants' family members and Deng's family members.
A separate case for officials who allegedly interfered in the case investigation or helped cover up the killing, including the then headmaster of the school, is still underway, and related information will be open to public in a timely manner, the court added.