Brooklyn Boro

Relative pleads guilty to fatally stabbing five family members

October 8, 2015 From District Attorney Ken Thompson’s Office
Ken Thompson. Eagle file Youtube screenshot
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Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced yesterday that a 27-year-old man pleaded guilty to 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 attack.

“Today’s outcome guarantees that this dangerous defendant will never be on the streets again,” 
Thompson said. “It also brings some peace to a devastated family and spares them from reliving this horrific tragedy at trial.”  
Thompson identified the defendant as Mingdong Chen, 27. He pleaded guilty today in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice to three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree manslaughter. The judge set sentencing for Oct. 20, at which time the defendant will be 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 defendant waived his right to appeal as part of the plea.
The DA said that, according to the investigation, on Oct. 27, 2013, Qiao Zhen Li placed a call from her apartment at 870 57th St. in Sunset Park 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 was 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.

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