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Feb 13, 2017

Daniel Ku Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Decade-Old Murder Case

Daniel Ku

A decade-old murder case has ended in a plea of manslaughter in the court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in the Supreme Court. Danny Elvis Ku was alleged to have butchered his wife, Nurse Anna Marie Magdalena Vasco to death in 2006, slashing her throat with a blade and stabbing her in the chest as many as thirty-seven times. He even called police in Orange Walk to confess after first attempting to flee and kill himself. Ku was subsequently convicted in 2010 and sentenced to life imprisonment. But the Court of Appeal ordered a re-trial in 2012. Ku said he was provoked by his wife’s statement about their sex life during an argument, and he attacked with fatal consequences. Today, he agreed to a plea of manslaughter offered by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. He will be sentenced next week after pleas for mitigation. Ku’s attorney Bryan Neal spoke to reporters following court proceedings.

 

Bryan Neal

Bryan Neal, Attorney for Daniel Ku

“At the eleventh hour this morning, I was informed that that was the decision of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to reduce the charges from murder to manslaughter and when that was done—based on advice given and based on what the defendant wanted to do—he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. So we are now adjourned for a week so that I can prepare mitigation pleas so that we can try to reduce the time. I would argue that he has already served seven years…so would be asking for time already served, but I won’t get ahead of myself. Let us see what happens next Monday.”

 

Reporter

“What are the facts of the case as far as you are aware, studying it from the retrial phase to this stage?”

 

Bryan Neal

“Well the facts are that he slashed his common-law wife throat and he stabbed her thirty-two times. We conceded to that and there was really no way around that. The other fact is that he walked into the police station and confessed so those are very difficult facts for any attorney to confront and defend some. But looking at what the background, the history of domestic abuse, domestic violence in the relationship and some of the things that were said to the accused—the now prisoner on that night-I was of the firm view that he was provoked and we would have deployed provocation in his defense in court. And ultimately, I felt that he would get a conviction of manslaughter anyway. So that was what I submitted to the prosecution from way back when and finally this morning at eleven o’clock, they seem to have come to my view of things. This is a domestic situation with his common-law wife and there were certain things said to him that pushed him over the edge.”

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