A father who allegedly strangled his two 11-year-old sons last year is no longer facing the death penalty as his murder charges were reduced to culpable homicide today.
Xavier Yap Jung Houn, 49, is accused of murdering the boys, who reportedly had special needs, at a canal in Greenridge Crescent Playground in Upper Bukit Timah on Jan. 21, 2022.
Yap’s two murder charges were downgraded when his psychiatric report by the Institute of Mental Health was released. It found that Yap suffered from a major depressive disorder of moderate severity around the time of the murders.
According to the court, he allegedly strangled the boys with the intention of killing them. The police also said Yap called the authorities for help on Jan. 21.
The boys were found dead in a dry canal bed. Yap was arrested the day after and charged within the week.
The nation paid its respects by leaving food offerings, flowers, and candles at the murder site. Six religious leaders from different faiths also gathered for an interfaith prayer organized by neighborhood representatives.
If found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, he faces life imprisonment and caning, or up to 20 years in jail, a fine and caning.
Yap’s case will continue Mar. 28.
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