The funeral director accused of instigating his ex-boyfriend’s suicide was a beneficiary of his S$1 million life policy
Warning: This story contains a description of a suicide.
SINGAPORE: A funeral director accused of inciting her ex-boyfriend’s suicide was the beneficiary of a S$1 million (US$730,700) life policy he bought in 2019, a court heard on Monday (Oct 30).
Alverna Cher Xiu Bin, 41, is on trial on charges of intentionally aiding 32-year-old Wei Jun Xiang to die by helping to pour nitrogen gas into his car on May 16, 2020.
She is contesting a second charge of obstructing justice by asking another man to drive away a car containing a nitrogen gas tank, disposing of evidence and lying to police.
In a document containing facts agreed by both the prosecution and defence, which was submitted to the court on Monday, the relationship between Scheer and Mr Wee was further clarified.
The couple was in a romantic relationship that started in early 2019.
Around May 2019, Wee purchased a life insurance policy worth S$1 million from Prudential Singapore and nominated Cher as one of the beneficiaries.
He told her about this. The court heard that the pair broke up in September or October 2019, but remained friends.
Around February 2020, Mr. Wei shared his suicidal thoughts with Cher. He also wrote a suicide note that same month, which he sent to Cher and some members of his family.
He planned to leave money behind to his family members and Cher after his suicide.
To this end, he purchased several insurance policies and named his family members and Cher as beneficiaries.
Mr. Wei then asked Cher how he could make his death appear as if it were from natural causes.
According to the court document containing agreed facts, Scheer told Mr. Wee that he needed to obtain a medical or family doctor’s history, and that death from a heart attack would appear natural.
She tells Mr. Wei that she should be the first to find his body, so that she can claim his body immediately without police interference.
In or around May 2020, Scheer received text messages from Mr Wei about people abroad who had killed themselves using nitrogen gas.
Around May 1, 2020, Mr Wee texted Cher, saying it was “end game” for him. He said that he intends to commit suicide during the month or June.
Cher offered to serve as conservator of his assets after his death, and encouraged Mr. Wee to hold a funeral, with his songs played, and a write-up written by a reporter.
Mr Wee then made plans to get a nitrogen gas tank and told Cher that he planned to “vaporize” his car with it while he was inside.
He asked Scheer to keep his funeral short, to put a small obituary in the newspaper, and to scatter his ashes in the sea.
Cher responded that she would keep his ashes until she was ready to let him go.
She said she would post his life story on social media after his death.
To ensure that the beneficiaries of his insurance policies would receive their payments, Mr Wee asked Cher for her views on what his death from a heart attack might look like.
Cher gave him the contact details of a doctor she knew. She intended for Mr. Wei to provide this doctor with false information about his health condition, so that the doctor could later certify that his death was natural.
Mr Wei called the doctor and went for a check-up as he complained of chest pains. The doctor asked Mr. Wei to go for further tests.
After Mr Wee saw the doctor, Cher told him that the police may not investigate the circumstances surrounding his death, as there was a possibility that the doctor would sign off on his death as natural.
Discuss about transferring property and whether probate is required. Mr Wee also acknowledged and suggested edits to the text Cher had prepared for a message she intended to display on wreaths, on social media and in his eulogy.
The couple went through a “trial” over his alleged death by suicide, court documents said.
They also agreed on a backup plan if he didn’t die of nitrogen gas, with Cher telling him to “die handsome.”
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