FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Relative Sentenced to 125 Years to Life in Prison for
Fatally Stabbing Five Family Members
Defendant Pleaded Guilty to Killing His Cousin’s Wife and Her Four Children
While Staying at Their Brooklyn Apartment
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 27-year-old man was sentenced to 125 years to life in prison for killing a mother and her four children with a cleaver. The defendant, a cousin of the woman’s husband, had been staying in the family’s Sunset Park apartment in the weeks before the 2013 attack.
District Attorney Thompson said, “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. 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.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Mingdong Chen, 27. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice following his guilty plea on October 7, 2015 to three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree manslaughter. The defendant 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, for a sentence of 125 years to life in prison.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on October 27, 2013, Qiao Zhen Li placed a call from her apartment at 870 57th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn to her mother-in-law in China, stating that the mother-in-law’s cousin had a knife and was threatening her and her family. Children were heard crying in the background before the call terminated. The mother-in-law alerted relatives in Brooklyn who rushed to the apartment.
They encountered the defendant, a cousin of Li’s husband who had been staying in the home for about two weeks. The defendant’s clothes, hands and feet were heavily bloodstained and he was forcibly held by relatives until police arrived. Inside, cops found five victims with grievous stab wounds to the neck and head. Li, 37, her children Linda Zhuo, 9; Amy Zhuo, 7; Kevin Zhuo, 5 and William Zhuo, 1, were pronounced dead.
The defendant was questioned by detectives in Mandarin and made statements, confessing to killing all the victims with a meat cleaver.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Mark Hale, formerly of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Taub, Bureau Chief.