Cleaver-wielding cook gets one-year sentence, may face deportation
Yuan Jun Li, who pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Circuit Court in November toattacking a fellow cook with a meat cleaver in April 2009, received a one-year sentence on Friday.
"We are very pleased with the sentence," said Li’s lawyer, David Driscoll, "and very pleased with the way the judge took all the relevant factors into consideration."
During the sentencing hearing, Driscoll presented a kitchen implement that Li’s victim had hit Li with prior to the meat-cleaver stabbing -- an implement earlier described by prosecutors as a spatula. Driscoll said it was “more like a very heavy spoon” at about 18-24 inches long.
Driscoll said the argument in the kitchen, at the Szechuan Palace on Darnestown Road in Gaithersburg, was rooted in the staff falling behind on orders. “It ended up with our guy getting whacked in the head,” Driscoll said.
From there, the incident unfolded into Li slashing his colleague in the back with the cleaver in the parking lot, and then punching him.
Left to be resolved are immigration matters.
Li will get credit for 285 days he has already served in the county jail since his arrest, so he is due to be released fairly soon. But federal officials have placed a detainer on Li, meaning they may move to deport him over his immigration status after his release.
“He’s resigned to returning to China,” Driscoll said.
-- Dan Morse
Washington Post Editors
February 5, 2010; 4:37 PM ET
Categories: Dan Morse , From the Courthouse , Montgomery , Updates
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