Doc Who Blamed Cough Syrup Gets 49 Years for Murders

It's the maximum sentence within state guidelines
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2016 7:31 AM CDT
Doc Who Blamed Cough Syrup Gets 49 Years for Murders

Dr. Louis Chen, convicted of fatally stabbing his lover 177 times before slashing their toddler son's throat from ear to ear in a gruesome 2011 double homicide he blamed on a buildup of the active ingredient in cough syrup, will spend 49 years in prison for his crime. "Show him the same amount of mercy he showed Eric and Cooper, and we all know how much that was—none," Dawn Miller, mother of Eric Cooper and grandmother to 2-year-old Cooper Chen, told the court. Chen, who said the cough medicine caused depression, paranoia, and a psychotic break, received the maximum sentence allowed in the state of Washington, reports the Seattle Times. "We believe it is a reasonable sentence for the taking of two lives in the most horrific way possible," the senior deputy prosecutor says.

Chen, an immigrant from Taiwan, met Cooper 12 years earlier, when he was in his late 20s and Cooper was a 17-year-old senior in high school. They had their son using Chen's sperm, a Taiwanese woman's egg, and a surrogate friend. They'd just moved to Seattle from North Carolina after Chen accepted a job at Virginia Mason Medical Center. When Chen failed to show up on his first day of work on Aug. 11, a hospital manager found him in his penthouse, naked and covered in dried blood; "I did," he responded when asked who committed the murders. Despite his admission, the prosecutor decided not to seek the death penalty, reports Q13 Fox. Prosecutors argued it was not psychosis that drove Chen, but rage and fear over a pending breakup and custody battle. (Chen spent a week in the hospital for self-inflicted stab wounds.)

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