Disturbing details emerge about a university lecturer’s murder of his wife as he stabs her to death as she screams ‘Help me, he’s trying to kill me’ – while sobbing in court as he listens to evidence
- A university lecturer cries during the pre-sentencing hearing
- He pleaded guilty to killing his wife
- The court heard shocking details on Friday
Neighbors heard the Melbourne mum screaming “Help me, he’s trying to kill me” in the moments before a university lecturer murdered his wife at his family home.
Adam Brown, 40, a former Deakin University digital media lecturer who also taught gender studies and women’s history, pleaded guilty last year to the murder of his wife of five years, Chen Cheng.
He wept as he sat in the dock at Melbourne High Court during a pre-sentencing hearing on Friday, and was supported in court by more than a dozen family and friends.
The 35-year-old mother was found lying in the backyard of their Croydon North home in April 2022, after being stabbed multiple times.
Born in China, Ms. Cheng moved to Melbourne to study in 2015 and the couple met the following year.
They married in Ms. Cheng’s home country in 2017 and had a child together in 2020.
Adam Brown arrived at the Supreme Court of Victoria on Friday for a pre-sentencing hearing
While no incidents of domestic violence were reported, Brown had anger issues and sought help from a psychiatrist in the year prior to the crime, the court was told.
Ms. Ching also sought mental health treatment after she suffered childbirth trauma.
On the evening of April 30 last year, the couple were arguing about future kindergarten arrangements when the fight escalated and they moved through different rooms in their home, District Attorney Nanette Rogers said.
Brown alleged that Mrs. Cheng spat in his face, hit him around the ears and he tried to restrain her and push her away. The prosecutor said they entered the kitchen and the couple armed themselves with knives.
Adam Brown (left) pleaded guilty to killing his wife, Chen Cheng (right)
She said that Ms. Cheng was stabbed in the neck in the kitchen, and she lost a large amount of blood. Brown told police his wife bit him on the arm.
“The fight moved to the backyard, and they both ended up on the ground grappling over one knife,” said Dr. Rogers.
“He realized that she had been seriously injured during the fight.”
She said that Brown did not provide any explanation for his wife’s many stab wounds. He was only slightly injured.
Brown tried to resuscitate Mrs. Cheng and called Triple Zero.
Neighbors heard screams and screams coming from the house before she died, and heard Brown say “Whoa,” “Get down,” or “Shut up.” Fearing this, the neighbors knocked on the front door.
The child’s mother, Chen Qing (pictured), died of stab wounds to her chest and neck.
When there was no answer, they heard Mrs. Cheng yell “Help me, he’s trying to kill me.”
They hit the garage and Brown enters them, and a neighbor performs CPR. He told the neighbors that they had stabbed each other.
Paramedics pronounced Ms. Cheng dead at 10:40 p.m., and an autopsy found that she had died from three deep stab wounds to her chest and neck.
David Hallows, Brown’s attorney, said his client had “deep regret” and agreed that he would serve a lengthy prison sentence for the murder.
The hearing continues before Judge Mark Champion.
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Adam Brown (pictured) taught digital media, gender studies, and women’s history at Deakin University
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