Couple handed death sentence after dad threw his toddlers off 15th-floor balcony

Zhang Bo and girlfriend Ye Chengchen face penalty for killing one and two-year-old children of Bo and his ex-wife Chen Meilin in 2020


                            Couple handed death sentence after dad threw his toddlers off 15th-floor balcony
(Feng Li/Getty Images)
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A couple in China have been handed a death sentence after it was revealed the dad threw his two children out of the 15th-floor balcony of his apartment in 2020. According to local media, Zhang Bo killed his two-year-old daughter and one-year-old son to please his girlfriend Ye Chengchen. Bo's ex-wife and the mother of the children Chen Meilin has slammed him for his action, telling the press "I couldn't imagine what my kids had experienced."

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Over in the states, we've covered several cases of child neglect and death in 2021. In late October, the body of Kendrick Lee was found in an apartment with his siblings, as Texas police uncovered the shocking abuse the children suffered at the hands of their mother Gloria Williams and her boyfriend Brian Coulter. According to data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, an estimated 1,840 children died due to abuse or neglect in 2019 in the US. 

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While data from China is harder to get, Bo's actions exploded all over social media and mainstream media. It ended with a death sentence being handed down for both Bo and Chengchen on December 28. It's unclear if the couple will appeal the verdict, but Bo at least seems remorseful, based on several local reports.

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Why did Bo kill his children?

According to reports, Bo began meeting Chengchen when he was still married to Meilin. Eventually, he decided to divorce Meilin to marry his new girlfriend, but it would come at a cost. Chengchen and her family reportedly did not want to accept him because he had the children of another woman. It is believed Chengchen heavily pressured Bo into getting rid of his children, going as far as to cut her own wrists. 

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"At that time, Zhang was on a video phone call with Ye. She slit her wrists and then Zhang got scared," Meilin told local media. He then dropped the phone and "picked up the two children, and threw them from the balcony." He then ran downstairs and appeared grief-stricken, even crying and banging his head against a wall at the sight of his kids - daughter Zhang Ruixue, and son Zhang Yangrui. Reportedly, the girl died instantly while the son succumbed a while later from his injuries at the hospital. 

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Initially, Bo claimed he was sleeping when the children fell out of the window, but the sham was later uncovered in court. He finally conceded to conspiring to kill the children, whom he had joint custody of after the divorce to Meilin. In court documents, the mom revealed Chengchen repeatedly pressurized Bo to get rid of the kids, even telling him in one conversation, "When the kids are gone, I will marry you … Why don’t you kill both since you will be killing anyway?" 

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Succumbing to the pressure, Bo organized a gathering of the siblings on November 2, 2020, at his home. He then killed them after the video call in which Chengchen cut her wrists. The mom told reporters Bo cried in court and apologized for what he did, while Chengchen firmly denied all accusations against her. It's unclear when the two will be executed.

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