Man Who Decapitated Classmate Gets Life in Prison

April 19, 2010 - 2:47 PM
A former Virginia Tech graduate student has been sentenced to life in prison for decapitating a classmate who rejected his romantic advances.
Richmond, Va. (AP) - A former Virginia Tech graduate student has been sentenced to life in prison for decapitating a classmate who rejected his romantic advances.
 
Haiyang Zhu was sentenced Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court to life without parole. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of fellow Chinese student Xin Yang.
 
Zhu attacked and decapitated the 22-year-old Yang as the pair had coffee at a campus eatery in January 2009. Prosecutors said he killed the woman because she had rejected him.
 
Commonwealth's Attorney Brad Finch says Zhu apologized to the victim's family and the community. Finch says he's satisfied the judge imposed the maximum sentence.
 
The slaying was the first at the Blacksburg university since a deadly mass shooting in 2007.