LOS ANGELES, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Family members of Jiang Yue, a Chinese exchange student killed in a road rage incident in Arizona two years ago, Monday urged judges to reject a plea agreement the local attorney's office offered to the murderer.
Gathering at the site where the 19-year-old were gunned down in January 2016, Jiang Yue's cousin Katherine Xu read a statement, saying: "Such a decision and approval of the plea bargain can not be, and is not reasonable and not fair. We, the Jiang family and our 10,000 supporters, do not believe it is acceptable to the legal system."
Jiang Yue's tragedy happened when she drove in the city of Tempe,Arizona, and was rear-ended by Holly Davis, who got off her vehicle, walked over to Jiang's car and opened fire. Jiang lost control when trying to drive away and crashed into another car carrying a family of five. Davis fled the scene and was later taken into custody by police.
Prosecutors initially sought to charge Davis on 14 criminal counts, including first degree murder, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and endangerment. Davis pleaded not guilty to all the charges at the initial hearing in February 2016, and entered into a plea agreement in February this year.
Under the plea agreement, Davis, in her 30s, would face a 25-year sentence and up to 250,000 U.S. dollars in restitution in exchange for pleading guilty to second degree murder and dismissal of all the other charges, local Phoenix New Times reported.
However, Jiang Yue's family told Xinhua last Friday that the local attorney's office never informed them before the agreement was reached and they have evidence showing before the shooting that Davis had a handwritten note to her boyfriend indicating she would be on the news.
Jiang's family is set to meet with Judge Warrin Grandville Tuesday, who has not approved the plea agreement, to express their concerns. Meanwhile, Davis is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office issued a statement Monday, saying: "The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has complied with our state constitution's victims' bill of rights...and the pursuit of justice requires prosecutors to take into account the views and concerns of victims as well as the practical realities of the facts and circumstances of any given case."