BEIJING (Reuters) - A court in China's southwestern Yunnan province sentenced a man to death for killing his parents and 17 other people in a spat last year over money, state media said on Friday.
The China News Service said Yang Qingpei killed his parents in their Yunnan village last September after being scolded by his father when he demanded to borrow money to pay debts.
In an attempt to cover his tracks when fleeing the scene, Yang killed 17 of his neighbors. He was arrested the next day in the provincial capital Kunming for the mass murder of people from six families.
The "circumstances were especially vile, the means cruel, and the consequences extremely grave," the intermediate court in Yunnan's Qujing city said, according to the China News Service.
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"Although, he confessed to the facts of the crime, admitted guilt, and expressed remorse after being brought to justice, it was not sufficient for a lenient sentence," the court said.
Yang would not appeal, the court said. It did not give further details of the crime.
Such mass killings are rare in China.
China does not provide statistics for how many people it executes each year, but Amnesty International believes the country is the world's top executioner, putting to death more than 1,000 people in 2016.
(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Michael Perry)