Man pleads guilty in decapitation case

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va., Dec. 21 (UPI) -- An ex-Virginia Tech graduate student pleaded guilty to first-degree murder Monday in the decapitation of a fellow student he claimed spurned his advances.

Haiyang Zhu, 26, will be sentenced in April for attacking and decapitating Xin Yang, 22, Jan. 21 as they had coffee at a cafe in Virginia Tech's Graduate Life Center, the Roanoke (Va.) Times reported Monday.


If the case had gone to trial in February, Commonwealth's Attorney Brad Finch said he would have presented as evidence two letters written by Zhu in which he claimed he killed Yang because he loved her and she rejected his romantic overtures, the Times said.

Yang was a graduate student and Zhu was a doctoral student assigned to help her transition to life on campus.

The hearing took place in Christiansburg, the county seat of Montgomery County, the county where Virginia Tech is located.

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