Guilty plea in father's death



An Ellicott City man pleaded guilty yesterday in Howard County Circuit Court to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his father during an argument at their home in December.

Jason Chen, standing before Judge Louis A. Becker, waived his right to a jury trial. He had been charged with first-degree murder and assault. He could face up to 30 years in prison when sentenced Dec. 8.

According to court documents, Chen, then 20, stabbed his father, Yun Sen Chen, 14 times with a steak knife during an argument at their townhouse in the 4900 block of Webbed Foot Way on Dec. 26.

Chen had told police that he killed his father to stop him from assaulting his mother, Lili Chen, charging documents state.

According to a statement of facts, Jason Chen and his mother gave police similar statements about the events that led to the death of Yun Chen. But, weeks later, Lili Chen told police that Chen and his father were arguing, but not about any assault on her.

Lili Chen said she gave the initial false statement to investigators "because she was very distraught about the incident; she did not want to lose a son in addition to a husband. But, she realized that she needed to tell the truth in order to protect the honor of her husband, Yun Chen, and her family," court documents state.

Prosecutor David A. Lank said lawyers reached agreement on the lesser charge to be sensitive to Lili Chen.

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