Yesterday, a jury convicted a Chinese passenger of murder after finding that he threw his wife off a cruise ship.
The Standard newspaper in Hong Kong reports that Wang Weile, age 49, shook his head in disbelief when the seven member jury returned its guilty verdict. The judge then sentenced him to life imprisonment.
As we reported in our article about this bizarre crime earlier this week – Sea Burial or Cruise Murder? – the cruise passenger claimed that he accidentally injured his wife while trying to keep her from committing suicide. When she lost consciousness, he thought that she was dead.
Wang claims that he suddenly remembered that she wanted a burial at sea. He then pitched her overboard to honor her wishes.
The couple have a nine year old child.
However when he took the stand at trial, he retracted the "sea burial" story. He admitted being partially responsible for his wife’s injuries, explaining that he struggled with her after she asked him to leave her alone and find another woman.
He also alleged his wife wanted to borrow 400,000 yuan (around $63,00) for her niece’s business.
The incident occurred on the Macau Success, a casino cruise ship, while it was in Hong Kong waters.
As bizarre as Wang’s defense sounds, the guilty verdict was not unanimous.
One juror voted to acquit Wang.