A San Francisco woman who was originally charged for the death of her own father avoided more jail time following a plea deal with prosecutors.
Suspended sentence: On Tuesday, Stephanie Ching, 36, received a suspended sentence of three years and was credited with the 17 months she already spent in jail. The credit for her served time meant she will soon be set free, the NY Daily News reported.
- As NextShark previously reported, Stephanie pleaded guilty to felony charges of being an accessory after the fact and for desecrating the remains of her 73-year-old father, Benedict Ching.
- Based on court documents, authorities performed a wellness check when Benedict did not report to work in May 2019.
- Police discovered several of the victim’s body parts in the refrigerator, including a severed head. A saw was found in a bathtub covered in blood.
- At the time of the crime scene’s discovery, Stephanie and her husband, Douglas Lomas, had allegedly already flown to China with their two children.
- The couple was “captured and extradited back to the U.S.”
Behind the new decision: While Lomas and Stephanie were both initially charged with murder, it eventually became difficult for investigators to establish what transpired and which of them did what.
- The medical examiner, who was unable to determine the victim’s cause of death due to the body’s severed state, concluded the dismemberment may have occurred post-mortem.
- The defense lawyer representing Lomas argued that he was attacked by Benedict and acted in self-defense.
- The defendants alleged that Benedict abused Stephanie throughout her life.
- Lomas, who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, received a six-year prison sentence.
- The victim’s family was reportedly “divided as to whether or not they support this disposition,” Superior Court Judge Linda Colfax said.
Feature Image via Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office