On July 23, Han Lei grabbed a 34-month-old baby out of her stroller in Beijing and threw her to the ground, killing her. This fact is not in dispute, as there is apparently surveillance footage of this sequence. Han, who had exited his friend’s vehicle from the passenger side, was reportedly upset at the toddler’s mother, who was standing in a parking space. Yes, a baby died due to a parking dispute.
On Monday, Han offered quite the incredible defense for his actions. “I never wanted to hurt anyone, let alone a child,” the 39-year-old said during a hearing at Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, as reported by China Daily.
He added, “We didn’t want to stop the car at the bus station, but it was the only way to go. So I got out to talk with her, but she wasn’t polite.”
He then slapped the woman.
“I felt ashamed fighting a woman in public, so I transferred my rage to the handcart, throwing it to the ground. I didn’t know what I’d thrown until someone shouted there was a kid.”
Did you get that? His defense is that he didn’t know he had thrown a baby, because he thought the baby was a handcart.
The driver of Han’s vehicle, Li Ming, was charged for harboring a criminal. Hey Li, how do you feel about your friend’s defense?
Not amused, it would seem.
The prosecution is recommending the death sentence for Han, and a two-year sentence for Li.
Han was previously sentenced to life in prison for car theft. I suppose when you’re staring a lethal injection in the face, you too would say anything. His is a hail mary defense; better than going gentle into that good night.
Toddler-death defendant says he meant no harm (China Daily)
UPDATE, 9/25, 12:23 pm: Han Lei was given the death penalty today, according to Xinhua. Li Ming, for harboring him, was given a two-year sentence on top of a prior three-year sentence that he had yet to complete (because he was out on parole).