TEMPE, Ariz. – The family of a Chinese college student gunned down in a road rage incident in Arizona is pleading with a judge to reject an agreement lowering charges against the young girl's killer.
The family of 19-year-old Yue Jiang traveled from China to Arizona this week to seek a harsher sentence for Holly Davis, the woman charged with fatally shooting Jiang following a car crash.
"The plea agreement from the county attorney's office demeans my cousin's life and makes Davis' meaningless life more important than Yue's, who would have graduated with honors to become a productive and reasonable citizen and an asset to her community, city, state and nation," said Katherine Xu, the student's cousin, during a memorial and news conference on Monday.
The family is scheduled to speak before the judge in the case on Tuesday. Davis, who has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, will be sentenced on Friday.
Davis was charged with first-degree murder and other charges. But she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, which comes with a maximum 25-year sentence.
The family says Davis should serve life in prison.
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office says that prosecutors have worked with Jiang's family and taken them into consideration, but it comes down to "practical realities of the facts and circumstances" of any given case.
"Losing a loved one to violence is tragic, let alone losing them in a foreign country. Couple tragedy with the unfamiliarity of a foreign criminal justice system and confusion and frustration is not unexpected," spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto said in the statement.
Jiang's family says they have been left out of the process and believe Davis should be tried on first-degree murder and sentenced to life.
Jiang was from the city of Chongqing in southwestern China. She was a sophomore studying business at ASU when she was killed on Jan. 16, 2016.
"My cousin Yue was a kind, mature and responsible girl who served her family very well. We were very proud of her, and we still are," Xu said.