View Full Version : Influences of a homeless martial arts enthusiast

5/08/2003 3:28am,
Teen Gets 30 Years in Parents' Murder

May 7, 2003

By Karen Freifeld
Staff Writer

May 7, 2003, 5:58 PM EDT

A one-time Manhattan honor student who pleaded guilty to helping her boyfriend strangle her parents before dumping their bodies in the East River was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison Wednesday.

Connie Leung, 19, received the sentence after Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Charles Tejada denied her motion to withdraw the guilty pleas she entered in January for the Nov. 2, 2000, murders of her parents, Stephen, 55, and Chi-lin, 41, Leung, in their First Avenue apartment at 110th Street. Asked if she had anything to say, Leung responded: "No, your honor." She appeared emotionless, wearing a white cross and gray slacks, and had her hair tied in a bun.

In January, Leung admitted to helping restrain her parents while her boyfriend, Eric Louissant, killed them. "While Eric Louissant strangled my father, I sat on him," she said, also admitting to participating in the murder of her mother. Prosecutors have said the couple plotted to kill the girl's parents after her father discovered the boyfriend in Leung's bedroom and kicked him out. The teen-ager had been promised a sentence of 15 years to life for each murder, the same sentence Louissant got last year after he pleaded guilty, admitting to using his hands and a belt to strangle the parents.

If convicted at trial, she Leung could have faced 25 years to life for each murder. In an effort to withdraw the plea, Leung said her admissions of guilt were involuntary because of her "weakened psychological state," that she misunderstood how to appeal a pre-trial ruling allowing her statements to police at trial, and that she was innocent. "The court finds that defendant failed to meet her burden of proving that the plea of guilty was not freely, voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently entered," Tejada said in his decision. "A defendant is not entitled to withdraw her guilty plea based on a subsequent unsupported claim of innocence.

In statements to police, Leung said she and her boyfriend lived in the apartment with the bodies for several days after the murders. They then wheeled the mother's body in a cart to the river and pushed it in; they later tossed the father's body into the water as well.

Police said the parents blamed Louissant, a homeless martial arts enthusiast, for the plunge in their daughter's grades.


Edited by - kungfoolss on May 08 2003 03:29:25