Montgomery mom who allegedly suffocated her 2 children charged with murder

Yuhwei Chou, 36-years old, was charged earlier this week with the Murder of her 2 children, 7-year old Samantha Ross and 11-month old Paul Ross (who would have celebrated his 1st birthday in December).

Authorities were summoned to Mountainview Road in Hillsborough on Tuesday at approximately 7:41am when a witness called to report finding a car in a ditch. The driver, later identified as Chou, was zip-tied to the steering wheel. Her children were in their car seats in the rear of the vehicle with their faces duct taped and their hands zip-tied. Upon their arrival, authorities checked the children for signs of life, but both were deceased.

The preliminary autopsy results were released today. According to authorities, both children died from asphyxia as a result of having their airways blocked. A final autopsy is expected following toxicology results.

The Affidavit of Probable Cause submitted in support of the Complaint for Murder sets forth that Chou told officers at the scene that she had zip-tied herself to the steering wheel. The circumstances surrounding the incident led to her being arrested. Once in custody, she was read her Miranda rights, which she purportedly waived and agreed to be interviewed.

Chou told authorities that, on Monday, she drove to Wawa for lunch and then to a True Value hardware store where she bought duct tape and zip ties. She then drove to a sports facility on Mountainview Road in Hillsborough where she began to put duct tape on her daughter’s face, but stopped when she became “spooked” by a bystander. She subsequently drove along Mountainview Road and parked in an area on the side of the road, where she climbed into the backseat. She zip tied her daughter’s hands and duct taped her face and her son’s face, and ultimately used to hands to suffocate them until they were dead. Chou said that she killed the children around 2pm on Monday. She further said that she had been planning the murders for approximately a week. A motive, if any, has yet to be announced.

Chou was allegedly taken to a local hospital for evaluation and then transported to the Somerset County Jail, where she remains pending a detention hearing.

For more information, see the My Central Jersey article here, and the article here. The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Press Release can be found here.

Murder is the most serious crime in NJ. It is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3, which provides:

Criminal homicide constitutes murder when:

  1. The actor purposely causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
  2. The actor knowingly causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
  3. It is committed when the actor, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, is engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking, criminal escape or terrorism, and in the course of such crime or of immediate flight therefrom, any person causes the death of a person other than one of the participants.

A person convicted of the crime of Murder is subject to a sentence of 30 years to life, with a minimum of 30 years that must be served before the person becomes eligible for parole.

Under certain circumstances, the charge can be downgraded to Aggravated Manslaughter or Manslaughter, both of which carry a lower sentencing exposure.

If you or a loved one find yourself implicated in a situation where Murder or Manslaughter charges may be sought, having a skilled defense attorney involved on your behalf is imperative to ensure that your rights and freedom are protected. Contact Alissa D. Hascup, Esq. 24/7 for a free consultation.