AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – There is a tragic development in the October stabbing of an Auburn couple in front of their two young children. Auburn investigators say the husband died the night of the attack from nearly 20 stab wounds. News 3 has now confirmed the wife, who initially survived 60 stab wounds, passed away on February 13 at East Alabama Medical Center. Her death means prosecutors are reviewing charges against the 21-year-old defendant accused in the stabbings.
In December, investigators testified in the preliminary for 21-year-old Zhuobin Wang, who is facing charges in the October 2020 stabbing. During the hearing, prosecutors played the 911 call Wang is suspected of making shortly after the attack. Wang is heard on the call explaining taking an Uber to the Monroe Drive home of 40-year-old Dr. Lijun Xuan and his wife, 41-year old ZhengZheng Wu, and stabbing them in October. On the call, Wang describes using two knives he typically used to cut food and then placing the knives in a trashcan outside the home after the stabbings. Dr. Xuan died that night. His wife initially survived the attack and told the police what happened.
“She observed Mr. Wang entering the residence, stabbing her husband in the back near the piano. She attempted to intervene, and he started stabbing her,” testified Levi Donnely with the Auburn Police Detectives Division.
Nearly four months after the attack, News 3 has confirmed Wu passed away on February 13, 2021. According to her obituary, Wu died battling a collapsed trachea at EAMC’s Intensive Care Unit.
District Attorney Pro Tem Jessica Ventiere tells News 3 the Department of Human Resources is caring for the couple’s two children and making sure their needs are met. Prosecutors are looking at upgrading charges against Wang now that Wu has died.
“The Lee County District Attorney’s Office will review the official opinion of the State Medical Examiner, as well as consult with the Auburn Police Division before making any additional charging decisions against Wang,” said Ventiere.
Testimony indicates Wang felt his reputation was hurt in a disagreement with the couple. Investigators say Wang lived with the couple while studying at Auburn University. Wang told the 911 dispatcher the couple had threatened him and his family. Wang says the argument was impacting his grades and reputation. Wang’s defense attorney suggested he snapped. Wang was arrested on scene.
Right now, Wang faces two Capital Murder counts related to the death of Dr. Xuan. Wang is already charged with the Attempted Murder of Wu. The case now heads to a Lee County Grand Jury. Wang remains behind bars at the Lee County Detention Facility on no bond. Prosecutors say they are still deciding if they will seek the death penalty in the Capital case or life in prison without parole.
The funeral service for Zhengzheng Wu will be held at the chapel of Jeffcoat Trant Funeral Home and Crematory (1500 Frederick Rd, Opelika, AL 36801) on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. with Fr. Michael Farmer from Saint Michael’s Church officiating. You can read Wu’s obituary here: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/oanow/name/zhengzheng-wu-obituary?pid=197892943
In lieu of flowers, a GoFundMe account is available at http://gf.me/u/y67awy. The funds are intended to support the surviving children.