An Ohio man was sentenced to life behind bars after being found guilty of the gruesome 2017 murder and beheading of a woman.
The convicted killer pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated murder and gross abuse of a corpse in the case on Monday. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge David Matia sentenced the man on the same day to life in prison, according to the media outlet, citing the sentencing hearing.
Matia reportedly collaborated with authorities, Liang’s defense lawyer, and other court officials in order to try and determine a motive in the gruesome slaying, but said it was “impossible to make sense of.”
“This is a crime that shocked the community when it occurred and will forever continue to perplex all of those who look at its details,” Matia reportedly said in court. “I’m not sure that I will ever fully understand the motivation here, if there even was one.”
Liang’s defense attorney, Richard Drucker, said his client “had a low IQ, was bipolar, and struggled to fit in,” according to Cleveland.com.
While Drucker said it appeared Liang and Chen, who also immigrated to the U.S., were possibly involved in “some kind of love triangle,” investigators reportedly found no evidence to support the theory. Chen resided with her boyfriend in suburban Cleveland.
“We believe the victim did befriend him, but there was nothing more,” Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Driscoll said. “The defendant wanted something more.”
Liang reportedly claimed in court that on the night of the murder, Chen asked him to come to her home and suggested giving him a massage. However, the events that led up to the killing remain a mystery.
Officials said over a 20-minute period, Chen was stabbed repeatedly with a sushi knife and beheaded with a meat cleaver.
“That takes a lot of force, and a lot of effort,” Driscoll reportedly told the court. “A lot of rage, and a lot of passion.”
Liang reportedly claimed to health officials that he killed Chen because he heard voices and “had visions” of her becoming a “monster.”
Drucker reportedly requested the judge to allow a plea of guilty by reason of insanity for his client, but doctors weren’t able to determine Liang’s level of mental illness at the time of the slaying.
Liang will not be eligible for parole for 25 years, and if released he will face deportation.
[Feature photo: Jiansen Liang/Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office]