Tianjin man Zhang Yifan was sentenced to death by a Thai court after killing his wife in Thailand 2 years ago to cheat her bail. (composite photo)
Tianjin man Zhang Yifan was arrested by Thai police after he killed his wife in Thailand 2 years ago to cheat on her bail. Last year, Zhang Yifan was sentenced to life imprisonment, but the victim’s family appealed. Recently, a Thai court commuted Zhang Yifan’s death sentence.
In October 2018, Zhang Ying, a 29-year-old Tianjin woman, was found dead in a hotel pool in Phuket, Thailand, and her husband Zhang Yifan, who was traveling with her, was identified by Thai police as the murder suspect.
In the months prior to the murder, Zhang Yifan had purchased large insurance policies in his name and his wife’s name from 11 different insurance companies for 274,649 yuan (RMB), with a total insurance value of 26.76 million yuan, with all beneficiaries pointing to “Zhang Yifan.
After his arrest, Zhang Yifan confessed to killing his wife, admitting to the judge that he had grabbed her neck from behind and held her head in the water several times, the last time for about three minutes, before returning to the room and letting her drown in the pool for more than 20 minutes before dragging her out of the pool and placing her by the pool.
He eventually retracted his confession, saying that he only killed his wife in passion rather than intentionally. Last December, Zhang Yifan was sentenced to life in prison by a Thai court. The family of the deceased appealed the death sentence, saying, “This is the only acceptable outcome, otherwise we will appeal to the end.”
According to Thai media reports, the lawyer representing the family of the deceased said that they received the original verdict on April 26. Thailand’s 8th District Intermediate Court rejected Zhang Yifan’s claim that he did not intentionally kill his wife and commuted his sentence to death on the basis of the Thai penal code’s “premeditated murder” charge.
As previously reported, Zhang Yifan was obsessed with an online celebrity anchorwoman in China and had spent a large amount of money on bounties. The anchorwoman admitted to Tianjin police that Zhang Yifan had paid more than 400,000 yuan in bounties and had given her a LV designer bag by express mail.