A man who murdered and beheaded his mother before tossing her head from their 12th floor apartment in Taoyuan City was found not guilty by Taiwan’s High Court today, because he was affected by drugs at the time.
On October 18, 2018, Liang Chong-ming stabbed his mother 37 times, cut off an arm and her head with a machete, then tossed the head into the courtyard of their gated community.
Liang was arrested and found to be under the influence of the amphetamine-class drug cathinone at the time of the murder.
During his court case and sentencing, Liang’s sisters asked that he not be handed the death penalty. Liang was sentenced to life imprisonment.
An appeal to the High Court today saw a panel comprised of three judges overturn Liang’s original sentence and declare Liang not guilty.
A statement released by the court stated it was found that Liang had killed his mother based on evidence and witness testimony, however Liang is determined to be not guilty.
The reasons for the not guilty verdict were that Liang had admitted that he had taken amphetamine drugs before the incident. A urine analysis after his arrest had confirmed this to be the case.
Secondly, according to the testimony of Liang’s sister, household neighbors, and the community’s guard, Liang and the victim had no grievances, no financial disputes, and there was no motive for the killing.
Thirdly, an appraisal from the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the Ministry of Justice, and the National Taiwan University Hospital showed that Liang was under the influence of cathinones at the time, and they had the strongest affect on his behavior, leading to Liang being unable to know what he was doing at the time.
According to Article 19, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Law, those who are unable to identify their ability to violate the law due to mental disorders or other mental disabilities during the act shall not be punished.
Therefore the court finds Liang not guilty.
Whether or not his is mentally fit to return home will be determined by the Taoyuan health authorities.
The case is appealable.
Cover Picture: SETN
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