AP NEWS

Lawyer: Chinese mom’s confession should be kept out of trial

October 17, 2017

Mingming Chen, right, attends a hearing where her defense attorney argued that a police interview in which Chen acknowledged killing her 5-year-old daughter should be excluded from the Chinese woman's murder trial because a translator wasn't present, on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Stark County Common Pleas Court in Canton, Ohio. Chen, of Jackson Township, Ohio, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in the death of Ashley Zhao, whose body was found hidden in the family's North Canton, Ohio, restaurant on Jan. 10, 2017, a day after she was reported missing. Chen cried as portions of a police interview were played Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, on a projection screen in the courtroom. (Michael Balash/The Canton Repository via AP)

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — A police interview in which a Chinese woman acknowledged killing her 5-year-old daughter should be excluded from her murder trial because an interpreter wasn’t present, her defense attorney argued.

Twenty-nine-year-old Mingming Chen, of Jackson Township, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of Ashley Zhao, whose body was found hidden in their family’s North Canton restaurant after she was reported missing in January.

Prosecutors noted in court on Monday that Chen hadn’t requested the interpreter to return when she acknowledged killing Ashley, The Repository reported . Chen cried when segments of the police interview were played in court.

Chen waived her constitutional rights concerning police questioning and agreed to be questioned without an attorney during the interview. She understood the notice of constitutional rights when it was read to her in Mandarin Chinese, according to FBI language specialist Lynn Tai.

Chen’s attorney, Richard Drucker, argued she waived her right to an attorney during the interview with the understanding an interpreter would be present. The interpreter left for an unexplained reason, and Chen was left with the detective, Drucker said.

Drucker also argued that police never told Chen she was free to leave during the interview.

A judge will decide whether to allow the interview as evidence.

Authorities allege that Chen repeatedly punched her daughter and that Chen’s husband, Liang Zhao, tried to revive the girl before helping to hide her body.

Zhao pleaded guilty to charges including obstructing justice and corpse abuse.

___

Information from: The Repository, http://www.cantonrep.com

AP RADIO
Update hourly