Lexington man found guilty of murdering his wife, sentenced to life in prison

Hongyan Sun strangled and killed his wife during a fight.

Hongyan Sun is arraigned in Concord District Court for the murder of his wife in August 2019, Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe.

A Lexington man convicted of strangling and killing his wife was sentenced to life in prison.

On Feb. 3, a Lowell Superior Court jury found 49-year-old Hongyan Sun guilty of first degree murder for the death of Shen Cai.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Friday that Cai’s body was found in her car in the early morning of May 29, 2019, on a public street near the home she shared with Sun. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner soon determined that Cai had been strangled.

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Through their investigation, police discovered that the couple was in the midst of a divorce when they got into a physical fight on May 28, 2019, during which Sun assaulted Cai, beating her badly before strangling her, the DA’s Office said.


Sun later admitted to the fight after he was found to have injuries that both suggested he’d been in a physical struggle and corresponded to his wife’s injuries, the DA’s Office said. Surveillance footage and Sun’s phone both indicated that Sun staged Cai’s body in her car on the morning of May 29, 2019.

Both Lexington and State Police investigated Cai’s murder, the DA’s Office said, leading them to obtain and execute 15 search warrants before Sun was arrested on June 5, 2019.

Friends told police they had been concerned for Cai before she died. She left behind a daughter.

Justice Patrick Haagan sentenced Sun to life in prison.


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