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3 escapees given death sentence

07-07-2010 11:50 BJT Special Report:

BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhuanet) -- Three inmates in northern China who broke out of a maximum security prison after killing a guard - sparking a nationwide manhunt last October- were sentenced to death yesterday.

Hohhot City Intermediate People's Court in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region found Dong Jiaji, Qiao Haiqiang, and Li Hongbin, guilty of murder, robbery, kidnapping and theft yesterday morning.

The three, aged between 21 and 28, escaped with another inmate Gao Bo from the Hohhot No.2 Prison. Gao held a woman hostage at knife point in the final confrontation with police. A sniper shot him in the face and rescued the woman surnamed Hou.

The court also ordered them to pay 57,326 yuan (US$8,455) to the family of Lan Jianguo, a prison guard they killed in the break-out.

Lan was stabbed 54 times while he was watching the inmates sorting ice-cream bars on October 17. The Ministry of Justice has given Lan's family 20,000 yuan for his sacrifice.

Dong and Qiao said they will not appeal the sentence, but Li said he will appeal.

Dong and Qiao confessed that they masterminded the escape. They recruited Li and Gao as muscle two weeks before their attempt to overcome the prison's security force.

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