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12.21.2009

man pleads guilty to killing virginia tech student

Remember Haiyang Zhu? On Monday, he pleaded guilty to killing a Virginia Tech graduate student at a restaurant last January, attacking her with a knife and decapitating her: Man pleads guilty to killing Virginia Tech student.

Zhu pleaded guilty to first degree murder in connection with the death of 22-year-old Xin Yang, a graduate student from Beijing. She had only begun her studies at Virginia Tech two weeks before she was killed in the University's Graduate Life Center.

At the time, according to school officials, the two were believed to have known each other, based on emergency contact records maintained by the university, but witnesses saw no sign of an argument before Xin was attacked.

According to prosecutors, Zhu had written a love letter to Xin, but she told him she was engaged to another man. He apparently purchased the knife used to kill Xin the morning of her death and attempted to call her 12 times. Yes, all the psycho signs were there. Dammit.

The whole thing was just gruesome. Like I said when this news broke last January... just when you thought people were kind of letting go of the notion that Asian men are violent crazies, this happened. At Virginia Tech, of all places.

Zhu will be sentenced on April 19. His murder plea doesn't qualify for the death penalty under Virginia law, but the prosecutor said he would seek the maximum penalty. More here: Ex-Va. Tech student pleads guilty in decapitation.