HONG KONG — An anesthesiology professor at a prime Hong Kong college was convicted on Wednesday of murdering his spouse and daughter with a yoga ball full of carbon monoxide, in a case that drew intense native curiosity for its bizarre details and unusual family dynamics.
The jury voted unanimously for convicting the professor, Dr. Khaw Kim-sun, after virtually seven hours of deliberation.
Three years in the past, a jogger discovered Dr. Khaw’s spouse, Wong Siew-fing, 47; and daughter Lily Li-ling Khaw, 16, unresponsive in a yellow Mini Cooper. An post-mortem confirmed that each had died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
At first, the police examined the automotive for leakages, however when no issues have been discovered, they grew suspicious a few deflated yoga ball in the trunk.
Dr. Khaw, 53, an affiliate professor in anesthesia and intensive care on the Chinese University of Hong Kong, had designed an experiment to check the impact of carbon monoxide on rabbits. A scholar with whom Dr. Khaw had begun an extramarital relationship had additionally been concerned in the experiment. He was later seen filling two yoga balls with the fuel.
When Dr. Khaw, who’s Malaysian, was questioned by officers, he advised them that he had transported the carbon monoxide in a yoga ball from the college to kill rats at his residence. He stated that his daughter Lily had seen him depart the ball in the household’s exercise space, and that, after his warnings about its deadly contents, she might have used it to commit suicide.
Dr. Khaw’s protection lawyer, Gerard McCoy, tried to construct a case by portraying Dr. Khaw as a loving father who had inadvertently pushed his daughter to kill herself due to his excessive expectations for her educational achievement. He argued that Dr. Khaw had discovered it troublesome to empathize together with his youngsters’s studying disabilities and psychological health points.
Later, in his closing remarks, Mr. McCoy stated that Lily might have tried to make use of the gas-filled ball to kill bugs with out anticipating its deadly penalties.
The prosecutor, Andrew Bruce, described the deaths as a “deliberate and calculated murder.”
There was additionally the query of motive. For a number of years earlier than her dying, Ms. Wong had recognized about her husband’s affair with the lady who had as soon as tutored their youngsters. In interviews with the police, Dr. Khaw stated that he had stayed married to his spouse as a result of neither of them might “cope with four children individually.” Ms. Wong had advised her yoga instructor that they didn’t divorce as a result of her husband didn’t need to divide their belongings.
When briefing members of the jury, the decide reminded them that Dr. Khaw would inherit his spouse’s share of their collectively owned properties.
“The main issue you have to decide is who put the yoga ball in the Mini Cooper and why,” Mrs. Justice Judianna Barnes stated.
After the jury’s verdict, Judge Barnes stated that it was “shocking that a highly educated and successful man would conjure up such a calculated method to get rid of his wife.”
She sentenced Dr. Khaw to the utmost sentence of life in jail.
The professor shook his head whereas taking a look at his three youngsters, who sat on the entrance of the gallery all through a lot of the trial. His youngest daughter started to cry.
Follow Tiffany May on Twitter: @NYtmay.