Changhua man convicted in murder for insurance claims

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan–A Changhua man was found guilty of murdering his father over insurance claims, a local court decided Wednesday. A judge sentenced the man to life in prison, although the case can be appealed in accordance with local laws. Chang Zi-hsun, 41, a Taoist priest by training was convicted for murder in the first degree, drugging his father as well as his wife (Wu You-chen, age 36) before they boarded his car on April 6 of this year. Chang later positioned the vehicle to crash 40 meters into a ravine in the Huatan mountain range in Changhua County before escaping from the vehicle himself. The elder Chang (aged 76) succumbed to injuries in the crash while Wu survived with severe injuries. Chang later alerted authorities and confessed his role in the crime. According to the verdict of the Changhua District Court, Chang may have been motivated by anger and existing debts to loan sharks amounting to an estimated NT$4 million (approximately US$122,000). The court believed that his marriage was ridiculed by his in-laws. Relatives and friends of Chang called him a gentleman that had succumbed to the emotional pressures, resulting in “his heart having been defeated by evil.”

Chang began to borrow money in 2012. He mortgaged his home but still owed NT$4 million in debts. In July 2014, he applied for an accident insurance plan valued at NT$3 million for his wife and subsequently a NT$1.5 million plan for his father in November of the same year. Chang initially told the judge that he originally intended to commit suicide along with his father. He then changed his mind, saying that he intended to kill himself by ingesting pesticide after he arranged his father’s last rites. Chang’s lawyer stated to the court that his client’s shame coupled with his dire economic straits may have driven him to emotional instability, resulting in the crime.