Supreme Court of the Republic of China, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A 53-year-old Taiwanese man who killed his Vietnamese neighbor and robbed her of NT$2,100 (US$70) lost his appeal against a life sentence at Taiwan’s Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Zhang Huang-sheng was previously convicted by the Taiwan High Court, Kaohsiung, of the murder and robbery of a Vietnamese migrant worker who lived alone in a suite opposite where Zhang and his 11-year-old son resided in Pingtung, southern Taiwan, China Daily News reported.

At 3am on March 9, hearing the woman walking home in her heels, Zhang took the opportunity to drag her from behind into his apartment.

The court heard that the Vietnamese national struggled to escape; however, Zhang choked her to death with a rope he had fashioned out of a quilt. He searched her handbag and took NT$2,100 in cash out of it.

The killer fled with his 11-year-old son, who had been awakened by the noise during the fight between his father and the woman. The boy saw his father forcibly holding his hand over her mouth, but Zhang told his son that the woman was drunk and he was just helping her to stay quiet.

A security guard found the woman’s body lying on the floor of Zhang’s apartment seven days later.

Zhang pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery charges, but a jury found him guilty of both. The judge handed down a life sentence as Zhang had obviously misled the police by deliberately leaving the apartment door unlocked, staging the scene as if he had not been at home at the time of the incident.

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