Trial begins for Richmond man accused of killing his wife with a cleaver

Opening statements began Tuesday in the second-degree murder trial of Jian Hua Wu, a Richmond man accused of killing his wife on their wedding anniversary.

Crown lawyers call the murder of Jin Jenna Cheng a case of 'extreme domestic violence'

The crowd outside Panorama Place on Granville Street in Richmond where Jin Jenna Cheng was found dead in May 2014. (CBC)

Opening statements began Tuesday in the second-degree murder trial of Jian Hua Wu, a Richmond man accused of killing his wife on their two-year wedding anniversary.

Wu was arrested in May 2014 at the building on Granville Avenue where he lived with his wife, Jin Jenna Cheng.

Lawyer Shannon Smith told the jury the Crown intends to prove Wu intentionally killed his wife during a "difficult and frustrating period" of their marriage.

She says the evidence will show Wu was found in the building's hallway next to Cheng's bloody body, a cleaver not far from her head.

Smith says the Crown's theory is that this is a case of "extreme domestic violence" and that a pathologist will testify that the victim suffered "too many injuries to count."

Police officer describes bloody scene

RCMP Const. Mark Denham, one of the first officers on scene, was the first Crown witness.

Denham testified that he was alone on patrol when he heard a call come in about a domestic incident at 7040 Granville Ave. in Richmond.

As he arrived at the building's seventh floor, he testified he saw blood on the walls and clumps of black hair along the floor of the hallway.

Denham said he saw two bodies at the end of the hallway — one, of the deceased Jin Jenna Cheng, the other of the accused.

"My initial impression was they were both dead," he testified.

As Denham moved closer, he saw what he described as a large rectangular knife between the two bodies and yelled, "Knife!" three times.

That's when he says Wu sat up in a cross-legged position.

Denham described what he saw as he was handcuffing the accused.

"[Wu's] hands were covered in blood, and there was black hair in the palm of his hands," said Denham

He testified that he asked Wu: "Who did this?" To which he responded: "I did."

Denham said he asked again: "You did this?" To which he replied: "Yes."

Neighbours in the building, other RCMP officers, expert witnesses and members of the victim's family are expected to testify.

The trial is expected to last six weeks.