Li Xiulan hopes to see her son’s killer brought to justice in her lifetime. The suspect who killed her son has been on the run for nearly 20 years, and she is now over 80 years old.
The murder occurred in Liaoyang City, Liaoning Province. In the early morning of April 20, 2004, Li Xiulan’s youngest son Qin Yuan was killed at the home of her lover Huang Qin. The suspected murderer was Huang Qin’s husband Wu Hai. After the incident, Wu Hai absconded and Huang Qin was also sentenced for his involvement in the case.
The verdict shows that Huang Qin was found guilty of harboring in the first instance and received a “three-year suspended sentence for five years.” After his appeal, the second-instance sentence was changed to the crime of helping to destroy evidence, and his sentence remained unchanged. While Huang Qin appealed, the prosecutor also filed a protest, arguing that he should be sentenced to a real sentence of not less than three years but not more than ten years, but the protest was not accepted by the second instance court.
After the verdict of the first instance was announced, the prosecutor filed a protest, arguing that Huang Qin (pseudonym) should be sentenced to a real sentence, but this was not supported by the court.
Qin Yuan’s family and lawyers believe that there are many doubts in the case and Huang Qin should be sentenced to actual imprisonment rather than a suspended sentence. For this reason, Qin Yuan’s parents appealed many times, but received no support. Later, Li Xiulan submitted the materials to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in the form of a petition. On May 12, 2023, the Liaoning Provincial Procuratorate notified Li Xiulan: “The letter materials you wrote to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate have been transferred to our court and are now transferred to the case handling department for processing.”
The Paper was unable to contact Huang Qin for comment.
A few days ago, The Paper called the head of the Criminal Investigation Detachment of the Liaoyang Municipal Public Security Bureau, who investigated the case, to try to understand the handling of the case, but the other party did not answer the call.
According to the case file, around 1 a.m. on April 20, 2004, when Qin Yuan and Huang Qin were having an affair, they were blocked at home by Wu Hai. Qin Yuan was killed and Wu Hai fled. On the evening of the 21st, the day after the incident, Huang Qin surrendered, claiming that Qin Yuan was killed by Wu Hai.
Qin Yuan’s sister Qin Jie told The Paper that a few days before the accident, she warned Qin Yuan: “She is already married, why are you still entangled with her? I can’t kill her?” Qin Yuan replied: “You can’t kill me. Huang Qin is protecting me.” She said helplessly: “If something happens to you, I will be the first one to find Huang Qin.” The result was true.
Huang Qin’s confession showed that in 1998, she and Qin Yuan met through someone’s introduction and began to have a relationship. Later, due to objections from both parents, the two failed to get married, but they have always maintained a close relationship. In 2002, Huang Qin married Wu Hai, but she and Qin Yuan were still lovers.
On April 19, 2004, Qin Yuan told his mother that he went out to take a shower. In fact, he was on a date with Huang Qin. The two had dinner and went to an Internet cafe until around 12 o’clock that night. Huang Qin confessed that she called her husband Wu Hai and learned that Wu Hai had gone to see a friend, and repeatedly confirmed that Wu Hai would not go home that day. After that, she took Qin Yuan back to her residence. Qin Yuan was waiting downstairs. When she went home and confirmed that Wu Hai was not there, she called Qin Yuan to go upstairs and enter the house.
The first-instance hearing of the Taizihe District Court in Liaoyang City found that at about 1 a.m. on April 20, 2004, the defendant Huang Qin took advantage of the opportunity of her husband Wu Haiyang to go home and took the victim Qin Yuan home to commit adultery. At about 5 o’clock that day, Wu Hai returned home, blocked Qin Yuan in his home, and killed him with a sharp knife and a telephone cord.
Afterwards, Huang Qin helped Wu Hai put Qin Yuan’s body into the bed box and cleaned the room together. Wu Hai threw away the murder weapon, the victim’s mobile phone, and pillowcase, and took away the victim’s money before absconding that day. Huang Qin put Wu Hai’s blood-stained clothes into a plastic bag and threw them away when it got dark (according to the public security agency Search, not found). After Wu Hai absconded, Huang Qin found his friend and defendant Li Moumou on the afternoon of April 21, explained to him the source of the body and asked him to help dispose of the body. Li did not agree, and later drove a taxi to pull Wu Hai out of sympathy. Huang Qin went to Liaoyang County Hospital to seek help from a friend, but failed because he was rejected.
Afterwards, Li Moumou helped Huang Qin take Qin Yuan’s body out of the bed box and put it into a large cardboard box, and then put it back into the bed box. Huang Qin and Li Moumou surrendered to the public security organs on April 21 and April 26, 2004 respectively.
The appraisal opinion of the Liaoyang Municipal Public Security Bureau showed that Qin Yuan’s body was highly decomposed when it was found. A blue wire is tied around the neck and knotted at the back of the neck. There was a puncture wound into the chest cavity on the right chest and back, four puncture wounds on the left chest and back into the chest cavity, and a puncture wound above the umbilicus on the abdomen into the abdominal cavity. It was concluded that Qin Yuan died due to acute hemorrhagic shock combined with mechanical asphyxia.
The first-instance verdict showed that the defendant Huang Qin and his defender had no objection to the main criminal facts, but believed that the defendant Huang Qin’s behavior should be the crime of helping to destroy evidence. The defendant Li Moumou had no objection to the criminal facts and charges.
The Taizihe District Court of Liaoyang City held that the defendant Huang Qin helped the criminals to annihilate the traces of their crimes, concealed and tried to destroy the evidence in order to protect them from legal prosecution. The circumstances were serious and his behavior constituted the crime of harboring and should be punished; the defendant Li Moumou tried to help destroy the evidence of the crime. Although he failed to achieve his goal, it still constituted a crime of cover-up. The criminal facts and charges charged by the public prosecution were established and should be supported.
On November 18, 2004, the first instance court of Taizihe District found the defendant Huang Qin guilty of harboring and was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years; the defendant Li Moumou was guilty of harboring and sentenced to two years of surveillance.
The debate between probation and actual punishment
After the first instance verdict was announced, Huang Qin refused to accept the verdict and filed an appeal. The public prosecution agency of first instance also filed a protest, and the Liaoyang Municipal Procuratorate supported the protest.
The reason for Huang Qin’s appeal is that his behavior should be punished as helping to destroy evidence. The defense opinion of his defender was that Huang Qin’s behavior was to help the client destroy evidence, and his behavior was consistent with the criminal characteristics of destroying evidence. However, helping to destroy evidence only constitutes this crime if the circumstances are serious. He tried to find someone to move the body, but failed to do so. The circumstances are not serious. Therefore, Huang Qin’s behavior does not constitute a crime.
The protest opinion of the Taizihe District Procuratorate stated that the circumstances of the defendant Huang Qin’s crime were abominable and subjectively vicious. He was covering up the crime of murder, was present at the scene when the murder was committed, and intended to move and destroy the body. The circumstances were serious; the defendant Huang Qin showed no remorse after being brought to justice. According to the statement, he did not truthfully confess about moving the corpse and intending to destroy the corpse, so he cannot be deemed to have surrendered. Sentencing the defendant Huang Qin to a suspended sentence may endanger society. Because the murderer Wu Hai is now at large, the suspended sentence to the defendant Huang Qin is inappropriate. He should be guilty of harboring the crime. The circumstances are serious and he should be sentenced to not less than three years but not more than ten years in prison. .
The Taizihe District Procuratorate believed that although the defendant Huang Qin was able to confess some of the criminal facts and had the statutory mitigating circumstance of surrendering, probation should not be applied. The Taizihe District Court’s sentencing of Huang Qin in the first instance was inappropriate.
In the second instance, the Liaoyang Intermediate People’s Court confirmed the criminal facts discovered by the first-instance court. The Liaoyang Intermediate People’s Court held that the appellant Huang Qin knew that others had committed murder, and in order to protect others from legal prosecution, he helped hide the evidence of the crime and intended to destroy the evidence. The circumstances were serious and his behavior constituted the crime of helping to destroy evidence; the defendant in the original trial Li Moumou Attempting to help destroy evidence of crime, although the purpose is not achieved, the behavior also constitutes the crime of helping to destroy evidence.
Regarding the prosecution’s protest opinion, the Liaoyang Intermediate People’s Court held that Huang Qin took the initiative to surrender to the public security agency after committing the crime, confessed to throwing away the bloody clothes Wu Hai wore when committing the crime, and did not provide false proof to the public security agency to cover up Wu Hai’s crime. Criminal facts, so his behavior does not meet the constituent elements of the crime of harboring. It was also found that although the criminal facts confessed by Huang Qin deviated from the facts in the details of the case, his confession of the main criminal facts that helped destroy the evidence should be regarded as surrendering, so the prosecution’s protest opinion was not supported.
The Liaoyang Intermediate People’s Court held that the original court found the facts clearly and sentenced him appropriately, but the characterization was inaccurate and the law was wrongly applied. The sentence should be changed in accordance with the law. On March 31, 2005, the Liaoyang Intermediate People’s Court ruled that both Huang Qin and Li Moumou were guilty of helping to destroy evidence, but their sentences were still maintained as sentenced in the first instance.
According to the case file, Huang Qin surrendered on April 21, 2004, was detained on April 23, and was later arrested on May 14. The second-instance verdict showed that before the second-instance verdict was pronounced, Huang Qin had been released on bail by the Taizihe District Court pending trial, and he had been detained for less than a year. Li Moumou was released on bail on the day he surrendered.
Second instance judgment.
Complaints from the victim’s family
Qin Yuan’s family fell into grief because of Qin Yuan’s murder. The suspect Wu Hai absconded and Huang Qin was sentenced to a suspended sentence, which they could not accept. For this reason, Qin Yuan’s parents have been petitioning and complaining for many years. A few years ago, Qin Yuan’s father passed away, and his mother, Li Xiulan, was old and continued to appeal through attorneys and emails.
Li Xiulan argued in the complaint that Wu Hai, the murderer in this case, is still at large because he was shielded by Huang Qin, and the facts of the case have never been ascertained because the principal criminal Wu Hai fled. Over the years, Qin Yuan’s relatives have suffered a lot because the murderer could not be brought to justice. Huang Qin was sentenced to a suspended sentence, which was a serious mismatch between the crime and the punishment.
Bai Yalan, a lawyer at Beijing Geyun Law Firm, Li Xiulan’s attorney, believes that Huang Qin should be charged with helping to destroy evidence and harboring.
Bai Yalan said that the case file materials showed that Huang Qin helped Wu Hai put Qin Yuan’s body into the bed box on the night of the incident and cleaned the room together. Huang Qin later put Wu Hai’s blood-stained clothes into plastic bags and threw them away when it got dark. After Wu Hai disappeared, he did not report the crime. When Qin Jie, the sister of the victim Qin Yuan, asked about Qin Yuan’s whereabouts, he lied that Qin Yuan had passed by. He will go home in a few days, maliciously delaying the investigation. On the day after the incident, Huang Qin also approached his accomplice Li Moumou and asked him to help dispose of the body. After being refused, he surrendered. The above facts have been confirmed by the original examination, and Huang Qin constitutes the crime of helping to destroy evidence.
At the same time, the original trial found that Wu Hai brutally murdered Qin Yuan at 5 a.m. on April 20, 2004, threw away the murder weapon, the victim’s mobile phone, pillow towel, etc., and then absconded that day after taking away the victim’s money. Bai Yalan believed that Huang Qin, who was in the same room as Wu Hai and Qin Yuan, but who had experienced the murder, reported the crime two days later after trying to dispose of the body but failed, which bought Wu Hai two days to escape and made the public security organs The investigation work fell into a bottleneck, causing Wu Hai to successfully escape to this day.
Bai Yalan believes that if Huang Qin could report the crime as soon as possible, Wu Hai would have a high chance of being arrested and brought to justice in 2004 when transportation was not convenient. Huang Qin helped Wu Hai escape and fought for Wu Hai’s escape. His behavior has constituted the crime of shielding, and he should be convicted and punished for the crime of shielding. Huang Qin was covering up the crime of intentional homicide, which objectively resulted in Wu Hai not being arrested and brought to justice. The circumstances were serious and he should be sentenced to a fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than ten years.
In addition, Bai Yalan also believed that Huang Qin showed no remorse after the incident and did not apologize or compensate Qin Yuan’s family.
However, Li Xiulan’s complaint was not supported. On January 30, 2021, the Liaoning High Court informed it: “This court believes that as the mother of the victim in the public prosecution case, you have filed an appeal against the criminal part of the original verdict, which does not comply with the appeal cases stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China. Within the scope of review, this court will not review this matter and may handle it in accordance with relevant procedures.”
As for the Procuratorate, on December 27, 2019, the Liaoyang Municipal Procuratorate notified Li Xiulan: “This court reviewed the criminal judgment of Liaoyang Intermediate People’s Court and concluded that the facts are clear, the evidence is sufficient, and the handling is appropriate. The complainant Li Xiulan’s reason for complaint cannot be established and does not meet the requirements. Conditions for case filing and review.”
Li Xiulan refused to accept the decision and appealed to the Liaoning Provincial Procuratorate. The Liaoning Provincial Procuratorate handed the matter over to the Liaoyang Municipal Procuratorate for re-handling. On October 28, 2022, the Liaoyang Municipal Procuratorate notified Li Xiulan: “As for the complainant’s reason for the complaint that Huang Qin constituted intentional homicide and was the principal culprit, this court believes that Wu Hai, the co-defendant, has not yet been brought to justice, and the existing evidence cannot prove that Huang Qin There was intentional homicide. This court believes that the original judgment that Huang Qin’s behavior constituted the crime of helping to destroy evidence was accurate and handled appropriately, and the reason for the complaint cannot be established.”
According to reports, the Liaoyang Municipal Procuratorate decided not to protest on the grounds that “this case does not meet the conditions for protest.”
The petition materials submitted by Li Xiulan to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate have been transferred to the Liaoning Provincial Procuratorate for processing.
The Supreme People’s Procuratorate transferred the case materials to the Liaoning Provincial People’s Procuratorate
Qin Yuan’s family members and attorneys believe that there are many doubts about Qin Yuan’s murder case. For example, Qin Yuan was strangled with an electric wire after being stabbed several times. Only Huang Qin has confessed that Wu Hai was responsible.
Qin Yuan’s family and lawyers raised questions. Huang Qin’s description of the incident could not exclude reasonable doubt. For example, Huang Qin confessed that the two talked in the living room for about half an hour after Wu Hai returned home. Why didn’t she wake up Qin Yuan as soon as she found out that Wu Hai had returned home? Why didn’t the police call the police when Wu Hai left the scene of the crime for the first time? Why try to destroy the body? Why did he go out to drink and have fun with his friends on the day his lover died tragically?
Qin Yuan’s family and lawyers believe that many of the above doubts point to Huang Qin being an accomplice who deliberately killed Qin Yuan. This is why they believe Huang Qin should be sentenced to actual imprisonment rather than probation. The Paper was unable to contact Huang Qin for comment.
After the appeal was dismissed, Li Xiulan submitted the materials to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in the form of a petition. On May 12, 2023, the Liaoning Provincial Procuratorate notified Li Xiulan: “The letter materials you wrote to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate have been transferred to our court and are now transferred to the case handling department for processing.”
(Note: Li Xiulan, Qin Yuan, Qin Jie, and Huang Qin are all pseudonyms)
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