China gives villager death sentence over massacre of 19

A court in southwest China says it has sentenced to death a man who killed 19 people in a rampage that began when his parents refused to cover his gambling debts.

The Qujing City Intermediate People's Court in Yunnan province said Friday that Yang Qingpei, a 27-year-old laborer from Yema village, pleaded guilty and would not appeal the sentence.

The court found that Yang killed his parents with a pickaxe last September after they scolded him for racking up gambling debts in the provincial capital. It said he knifed 17 other people to death, including relatives and neighbors, in an attempt to cover his tracks.

Chinese media widely covered the case, one of the bloodiest mass killings in recent years in a country where access to guns is extremely limited.