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Queens man, 73, sentenced to 15 years for bludgeoning common-law wife to death

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FRESH MEADOWS, Queens — A Queens man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for bludgeoning his 61-year-old common-law wife to death in July 2016, District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced Wednesday.

Chitwah Tse, a 73-year-old Queens resident, plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter in December 2016. On Tuesday, he was sentenced to 15 years followed by five years post release supervision.

His live-in girlfriend, also known as his common-law wife, Huizhen Zhan was found dead, lying face up on a bed in the basement apartment of a home at 158-10 65th Ave. in the Pomonok neighborhood on Aug. 1, officials said.

Her body was covered with a sheet soaked with blood. There was broken glass on the bed.

Zhan had lacerations to the head, arms and face and died from blunt force trauma to the head. Zhan and Tse had a roommate who told police he heard a loud bang from their bedroom shortly after midnight.

Later that day, Tse allegedly met with two relatives in Chinatown, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

“I am sorry for all that I have done,” Tse allegedly told them. “I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again.”

About an hour later, a Garo Kapikian, a lawyer, called police and told them that a new client had walked into his office earlier that day and told him that there was a corpse in the basement apartment of 158-10 65th Ave, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Police broke down both bedroom doors in the apartment and found Zhan, court documents show. There was blood in the shower and on the toilet.

Two days after Zhan was killed, Tse showed up at Kapikan’s TriBeCa office again and climbed onto a building ledge 22 stories up. Police had to talk him down. Tse was taken to Bellevue Hospital with scratches and lacerations to this fingers, hands and chest.

District Attorney Brown said, “In pleading guilty to manslaughter, the defendant admitted to brutally killing the 61-year-old woman whom he had shared his life with. The victim was beaten bloody and left for dead in their bed that was soaked crimson red. The defendant will likely spend the rest of his life incarcerated for this heinous crime.”

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