Guilty Plea in Love Triangle Deaths
CHELSEA J. CARTER
Jun. 30, 2001
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) _ A woman who was tried three times on charges of murdering her husband's mistress and child pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and will be deported to Taiwan.
Li-Yun ``Lisa'' Peng, 51, whose trials ended with two hung juries and a conviction that was reversed on appeal, told a court she was guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the 1993 deaths of Ranbing ``Jennifer'' Ji, 25, and 5-month-old Kevin.
The boy was the son of Ji and Peng's then-husband, Tseng ``Jim'' Peng. Ji was stabbed 18 times with a kitchen knife and Kevin was smothered.
Until 1991, electronics tycoon Peng and his wife were a successful couple, shuttling between Taiwan and a home in Rancho Santa Margarita in Orange County. They were the parents of two sons, and Peng's worth was estimated at $200 million, most of it from his Ranger Communications which made CB radios in Asia.
Prosecutor Robert Molko said he didn't view the agreement as a loss for the prosecution.
``We have her admitting she killed two people,'' he said.
Defense attorney John Barnett said the deal was better than facing another trial.
``It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you have an option of going home or waiting six more months in custody, you go home,'' he said. He expected that to happen within two weeks.
Peng's conviction, after her second trial, had brought a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
But the conviction was overturned amid allegations that authorities ignored Peng's request for an attorney, had her husband question her in her native language and subjected her to hours of intimidation.
Peng was sentenced Friday to concurrent terms of 11 years in prison for Kevin's death and six years for Ji's death. She was given credit for time served and immediately released to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for deportation.
Until 1991, electronics tycoon Tseng ``Jim'' Peng and his wife were a successful couple, shuttling between Taiwan and a home in Rancho Santa Margarita in Orange County. They were the parents of two sons, and Peng's worth was estimated at $200 million, most of it from his Ranger Communications which made CB radios in Asia.