Mingdong Chen, a 27-year-old Chinese immigrant, was sentenced to prison for killing his family with a meat cleaver at their Brooklyn, New York home during a jealous rage. The man was sentenced to 125 years after pleading guilty earlier this month to butchering the woman and her four young children at their Sunset Park apartment , according to Empire State News.
Chen had been staying with the his cousin and his family for about two weeks before the attack.
“This defendant’s vicious and sadistic attack makes him completely unfit to remain in society and he will now spend the rest of his life behind bars,” Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a statement. “While we will never know what drove him to commit these murders, I hope that this sentence will offer this grieving family some measure of comfort.”
Mingdong Chen killed his cousin’s wife, 37-year-old Qiao Zhen Li, and her children, Linda, nine; Amy, seven; Kevin, five; and William Zhou, 18 months. The mother-in-law then called on other relatives in Brooklyn to check on them, but when they arrived they found him covered in blood and Li and her children slaughtered.
The five victims had died from multiple wounds to the neck and head. He was charged with three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree manslaughter.
A prosecutor said earlier this month that Chen was offered a plea deal to spare the victims’ relatives from having to relive the tragedy in court. On Tuesday, Mingdong was sentenced to three terms of 25 years to life in prison for the murder counts and two terms of 25 years on the manslaughter counts, all running consecutively.
Prosecutors said Li called her mother-in-law in China on the evening of October 27, 2013, saying Mingdong was in the house with a knife and threatening the family. When the mother-in-law heard children crying in the background, she called other relatives in New York who rushed to the home in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood. By the time they arrived, the five relatives were dead and Chen was dripping in blood.
Police said the family had been slaughtered, each of them repeatedly stabbed and slashed in the throat and neck. Their bodies were found strewn about the house.
The one-year-old boy was so badly butchered that he was decapitated, according to reports at the time. The children’s father and Chen’s cousin, Yi Lin Zhuo, was working at a Long Island restaurant when the grisly murders took place.
His wife tried to call him earlier in the evening because she was alarmed about Mingdong’s behavior, police said - but she was unable to get through to him. Chen, who came to the US as a teenager in 2004, was a transient and illegally in the country, Assistant District Attorney Mark Hale said at the time of his arrest.
Mingdong Chen had been staying in his cousin’s home for about a week before the killings, according to authorities. When detectives questioned him, Chen told them he was jealous of the success of his fellow Chinese immigrants.