Malaysia’s “cosplay killer” escaped the death penalty today, after his sentence was ruled culpable homicide not amounting to murder by a three-judge Court of Appeal. He will now serve 22 years behind bars.
Last year, a Shah Alam court had found Poon Wai Hong, 29, guilty of murder, and sentenced him to death for the 2013 death of a 15-year-old cosplay fan.
Ng Yuk Tim, who at the time was the girlfriend of the adult suspect, was found dead, stuffed into a suitcase having suffered a serious head injury along Jalan Kebun Nenas in Shah Alam, just outside of Kuala Lumpur.
Poon was accused of murdering the teen at his home in the Kampung Cempaka neighborhood of Kelana Jaya, Kuala Lumpur. Ng had originally gone to his home under the auspices of getting help with a cosplay outfit, having befriended the suspect online.
The accused had maintained that the entire incident had been an accident, but a previous court decided otherwise, accusing him both of attempted rape and murder.
However, on appeal, Poon’s lawyer argued that the 15-year-old girl and 20-something man had intended to engage in sexual relations when they were interrupted by a friend of the suspect. When Poon attempted to have relations with the teen again, he claims she no longer wanted to have sex, and they quarreled.
Poon says that he tried to silence the 15-year-old, but she bit his hand and tried to attack him with a stun gun, leading him to push her. Unable to see without his spectacles, by the time he found them he says the victim was lying on the floor, having hit her head on a dumbbell.
His lawyer argued that the suspect panicked, and stuffed Ng’s body into a suitcase.
When the suitcase was discovered, Ng was found in the fetal position, wearing only a t-shirt and panties.
Social media posts between going missing and having her body found show a very young-looking Ng, along with an appeal from her mother and friends asking for information on her whereabouts.
According to state news agency Bernama, the prosecution will be filing an appeal with Malaysian Federal Courts.