Prison escape kills chance of parole

A drug trafficker and self-proclaimed police killer who escaped from prison in Yunnan province last year has been sentenced to life with no chance of parole, according to court documents released on Monday.

Zhang Lincang, a 28-year-old former soldier, was originally sentenced to life imprisonment for transporting drugs in October 2016. He began serving his sentence at the No 1 Prison in Yunnan in January 2017.

In May, however, he fled the prison's labor site, stole a truck while its driver was unpacking its contents, and rammed through the prison fences, according to prison and police reports. Zhang abandoned the truck on a road about 2 kilometers from the prison and proceeded to escape on foot.

The prison and the local police sent out a search party. The Yunnan Public Security Bureau also offered a 100,000 yuan ($15,900) reward for clues.

Eight days later, Zhang was caught by armed police in the mountains near Naibo village in Songming county´╝Źaround 80 kilometers from the provincial capital, Kunming. Villagers who witnessed the capture said Zhang was caught naked because he abandoned his colored clothes to elude capture.

In November, the Kunming Intermediate People's Court held an open trial for Zhang. However, about five minutes into the trial, Zhang claimed he had killed a policeman during his escape, thus cutting the trial short and prompting further investigations, according to court documents.

In January, the Kunming court reopened Zhang's trial and decided to add five more years for the jail break on top of his life imprisonment. Zhang's claim of killing a police officer has not been confirmed by the court, documents said.

While the final verdict of life imprisonment remained the same, Zhang previously had the chance of reducing his penalty to at least 17 years if he had shown good behavior or helped to solve other major criminal cases, according to rules by the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee.

Now, Zhang has lost his chance to reduce his sentence due to additional criminal offenses and will likely stay in prison for life.

"I originally planned to escape into Myanmar. But I wanted to see my daughter and take my revenge on the people who set me up, then I would give myself up," Zhang said in the video of him being transported to the police station after being apprehended. "My life is now completely over."


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