TAIWAN: MAN IN TIRE SHOP ARSON CASE SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HSINCHU COURT
September 30, 2023:
The Hsinchu District Court on September 28, 2023 handed the death sentence to a man found guilty of arson that resulted in the death of eight family members in June last year. (Source: CNA, 28/09/2023)
The murders by Chen Yen-hsiang were cruel and evidence of the crime clear, the court said in a press release.
In the pursuit of justice and the preservation of social order, the death penalty was deemed necessary, and Chen was further stripped of his civil rights for life, the court said.
However, the ruling can still be appealed.
Chen, plagued by mounting debts and financial woes, often engaged in heated arguments with his parents, with whom he resided and ran a tire shop on Dongda Road in Hsinchu City, according to the court.
On the evening of June 15, Chen left home after quarreling with his parents and returned with 20 liters of gasoline, which he splattered across the tire shop located on the ground floor of a two-story building where the extended family lived, before igniting a fire using a lighter and tissues.
The fire quickly spread to the second floor.
Chen's father managed to escape the scene, but his mother was trapped while trying to alert other family members on the second floor, who all died in the fire, including Chen's wife and three children aged 7, 6 and 3, younger sister, sister-in-law and 1-year-old niece.
Chen deliberately set the fire, which caused the death of four innocent young children, simply because of quarrels over family matters and his belief that his parents were unfairly biased toward other siblings, the court said.
Chen was subsequently arrested and indicted for murder in August 2022.