Nov 18, 2008
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Man admits killing Canadian model in Shanghai: state media

Nov 18, 2008

SHANGHAI, Nov 18, 2008 (AFP) - An 18-year-old told a Shanghai court he stabbed a Canadian model during a robbery then returned hours later to steal her belongings as she lay dying in a stairwell, state media reported Tuesday.

Photo : Mark Ralston/AFP

Restaurant worker Chen Jun admitted to the court that he stabbed Diana O'Brien repeatedly in the chest on July 7 after she caught him trying to rob her apartment, the Shanghai Daily reported.

Chen testified he entered the apartment O'Brien shared with another Canadian model because the door was open and the lights were on, after targeting their building because of lax security, the report said.

O'Brien caught him as he was stealing a laptop in the living room. He said he threatened her with a knife and forced her into her bedroom because she was "screaming in English."

Pleading with him, she offered him money from her purse and then after a struggle she fled, he recounted to the court. He chased her into the stairwell and stabbed her, Chen said, according to the report.

Prosecutors said Chen, a rural migrant from eastern China's Anhui Province, called police as he left the building around midnight and reported hearing a foreign woman screaming in the apartment complex.

Two officers went to the area but left because they did not hear anything, prosecutors said.

Chen said he returned four hours later after going to a nearby Internet cafe and found O'Brien covered in blood but still alive, the report said.

"I decided not to help her this time," he was quoted as telling the court.

"I called the police and (thought) they must have been here. I thought there's no need to call again."

Chen then ransacked the apartment, taking a laptop, jewellery, a suitcase, a cell phone, digital cameras and Canadian dollars, the report said.

A cleaner found O'Brien's body at 6:00 am.

Chen was arrested in an Internet cafe five days later in the city of Xuancheng, 300 kilometres (190 miles) from Shanghai.

O'Brien, 22, had been in China for less than two weeks when she was murdered.

Previous reports said she had wanted to return to her home in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, after discovering her Shanghai modelling contract mostly involved jobs dancing at bars.

The one-day trial lasted about two hours on Monday and the court has yet to deliver a verdict, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

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