New Details in Case of Lexington Man Charged With Strangling Wife

The Lexington, Massachusetts man charged with the murder of his wife, who was found dead in her car a week ago, was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Thursday morning.

Hongyan Sun, 50, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the death of his wife, 49-year-old Shen Cai. The victim's body was found on May 30 in the driver's seat of her SUV, which was parked near Lexington High School.

Prosecutors said in court Thursday that Sun strangled his wife after a fight at their Lexington home on May 28 and then staged her body in her vehicle to mislead investigators. They also said he used hidden cameras to spy on his wife in the days before her death.

Sun's attorney, Melinda Thompson, said her client is still processing the situation.

"He's just sort of shocked, and again, just learning the facts, so we don't really know where this goes from here," she said.

After his wife's body was found last week, Sun told NBC10 Boston he didn't know what happened to her.

"Don't ask me," he told NBC10 Boston as he returned home from the hospital. "I can't tell anything. I don't want to do any more damage to anybody, OK?"

Prosecutors said before Sun was arrested, he purchased a plane to China and was planning to fly there in the coming days.

Police learned of Cai's death after they responded to a call from several of the victim's friends. They had been searching for her after they became concerned that she missed two scheduled appointments. They later found her unresponsive in the car and called 911. 

Cai was pronounced dead at the scene, and prosecutors said investigators initially observed some suspicious trauma. An autopsy was conducted, and the medical examiner ruled her death a homicide by mechanical asphyxiation.

The autopsy found injuries "consistent with a violent struggle and being strangled to death," court documents said. The tip of Sun's finger was bitten off during the struggle with his wife, according to police. They said he tried to conceal the injury with bandages. According to the police report, Sun threw away his bloody shoes at work and attempted to clean up the crime scene.

Prosecutors said Sun and Cai were going through a divorce and she previously told friends and her attorney about a history of controlling behavior and verbal abuse. She also told friends about an instance of physical violence and that she worried about her own safety.

Court documents show that shortly before Cai died, she told a friend that "if she ever was found dead, it would be a homicide not a suicide."

She also said her husband had threatened to kill both her and her daughter from a previous marriage.

Sun's next scheduled court date is on July 30.

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