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Chinese man gets 25 years for murdering Korean woman in Jeju church

February 16, 2017

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) — A lower court on Thursday sentenced a 51-year-old Chinese man to 25 years in prison for murdering a South Korean woman who was praying at a church on the country’s southern resort island of Jeju last year.

Chen Guorui attacked the 61-year-old woman, identified only by her surname Kim, in September when she was praying inside the Catholic church alone. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead a day after the incident took place.

The defendant was nabbed some 40 kilometers away from the scene a few hours after the crime.

Chen told police he killed her because Kim reminded him of his former wives who ran away after having extramarital affairs.

But during questioning by the prosecution, he changed his statement and said he committed the crime to be jailed here and not go back to China.

“The defendant took away the valuable life of the victim for a reason that cannot be understood,” the Jeju District Court said in a statement. “He did not show any signs of remorse or offer an apology.”

The court said it took into consideration that the defendant has been mentally ill for the past five to six years, according to a psychiatric evaluation.

Chen entered the country through a visa-free program for Chinese tourists less than a week before he committed the crime and was scheduled to leave a few days later.

The case has sparked a public outcry along with a series of other crimes committed by Chinese tourists on the island, leading to growing calls for a toughened visa policy.

This file photo taken on Sept. 22, 2016, shows Chinese murder suspect Chen Guorui speaking to reporters after reenacting his crime in the city of Jeju on South Korea's largest island of Jeju.

This file photo taken on Sept. 22, 2016, shows Chinese murder suspect Chen Guorui speaking to reporters after reenacting his crime in the city of Jeju on South Korea’s largest island of Jeju.

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