This is just another story about Esmie Tseng’s plea but I finally get to hear what kind of abuse Esmie went through…
In Esmie Tseng’s world, a test score of 96 might have gotten the 16-year-old grounded.
Her mother expected more. Always more. And when the Overland Park girl fell short, she often was punished in ‘unfair and cruel’ ways, Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison said Monday.
Sometimes, he said, Esmie’s mother tried to teach her a lesson by humiliating her: She made her daughter take off all her clothes.
But Esmie also was under a lot of pressure, primarily from her mother, to perform at unrealistically high levels, Morrison said. Slight transgressions often resulted in punishments such as not being able to go outside for extended periods of time, he said, or not being able to do the kinds of things that teens like to do.
“She lived in a highly structured environment,” Morrison said.
“It was not uncommon for her to be ordered to take her clothes off as a way to humiliate her, if that gives you a flavor of what was going on.”
I feel bad for Esmie. I really do. That’s not sarcasm. Mental abuse like that form a parent is one of the worst tortures that a teenager can go through. However, that abuse did not warrant the violent response that Esmie gave…
Assistant District Attorney John Fritz said that Esmie had stabbed her mother with a knife. When her mother took away the knife, Esmie grabbed another and stabbed her multiple times. Esmie did not call for help, he said.
The way Esmie’s mother treated her would have been grounds to call social services not a multiple stabbing with two different knives.
Also, did Esmie’s father know that this treatment was going on?
Now that I know a little more about the events leading up to the murder of Shu Yi Zhang I can offer an opinion on the sentencing. I think the suggested eight years and four months is very reasonable for the offense and what led up to it. As I said, I feel bad for Esmie, but stabbing her mother to death was a severe over-reaction and she needs to be punished. She will still have much of her life ahead of her when she gets out.