In this specific case, the crown had a very good circumstantial case but very little hard evidence connecting the accused to the crime. In fact, nobody really knew what exactly had happened to bring about this tragic result UNTIL Min Chen talked. In cases like this, the crown is faced with a difficult decision.....risk a trial, where the accused might have been aquitted or been convicted of a lesser charge, such as manslaughter, due to difficulty of prosecution, OR award a plea bargain where they can be assured of the outcome and where the accused must recount his crime and own up to it. While the outcome was hardly perfect, I am glad to see that they didn't risk this young man walking free or taking a manslaughter plea.
Nothing will bring this little girl back, heal the pain of her family, friends and community, or explain how this young man could have committed such an act, with forethought and intent. Ideally, we would lock him away forever. However, this is not an ideal world (as we all know) and not every case is filled with slam dunk evidence. This is not Law and Order. Perhaps Min Chen has gotten off lucky, but at least he was caught and convicted. Sadly, this is not always the case.
I for one am mostly concerned about what kind of time he will have dropped off his sentence for pre-trial time served, as is the custom around here.