March 26 (UPI) — A South Korean couple charged with the murder of their 7-month-old infant received a reduced sentence on Thursday following a second trial.
The two defendants, a 22-year-old husband and his 19-year-old wife, were accused of letting their daughter die from neglect. Their sentences were commuted, Yonhap and Newsis reported.
The husband’s initial 20-year sentence was reduced to 10 years on Thursday. His wife’s sentence was also reduced to seven years, according to reports.
The defendants’ sentences were commuted according to the 13th division of Seoul High Court because it was “difficult to view the crime committed as cruel.”
According to the South Korean court, the daughter died due to conflict in the marriage.
The defendants “passed on the responsibility of child care” to each other, while leaving their baby in a “soiled room without taking minimum protection measures.” The defendants ate meals while leaving their child to die of thirst in the next room, the court said in its statement.
“A daughter who deserved to grow up with the love and care of a family died after not being provided even a sip of water for three days,” the court said. “It is hard to express in words the physical and mental pain experienced in the process.”
The court said an act of cruel murder would include using explosives or burning the victim. Depriving the child of water is “difficult to judge” as an act of cruelty, the court added.
The couple, residents of the Bupyeong district in the city of Incheon, underwent their first trial in May 2019. They also attempted to bury the child in a nearby hill, according to South Korean prosecutors.
During their first trial, the court revealed the baby’s father also arrived late at his child’s funeral due to a hangover, according to Newsis.