The University of Hong Kong (HKU) professor who killed his wife in 2018 owed her HK$6 million (US$773,850), according to an IOU that authorities found in their bedroom.

Cheung Kie-chung, who is facing one count of murder, appeared in court Monday. Police said the IOU—dated May 31, 2018, about three months before the murder—stated that if Cheung did not make the repayment by that date, he would need to pay his wife an additional HK$1 million (US$128,975), the South China Morning Post reported.

In court, the 56-year-old admitted to killing his wife but not murdering her. He attempted to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, citing mental health issues, but was denied.

Prosecutors said that Cheung strangled his wife, Tina Chan, with two electrical wires at Wei Lun Hall, a HKU dormitory where he served as a warden, on August 17, 2018. Earlier, the couple reportedly had a disagreement in which Chan berated him for not sticking up for her during an argument with their daughter.

Read more: HKU professor charged with murder after wife’s body found in suitcase

Cheung then submitted a missing persons report for his wife, but police got suspicious after seeing CCTV footage of Cheung moving a large wooden box from the dormitory to his office in the university’s Haking Wong Building just two days after filing the report.

Officers raided Cheung’s office, where they found the wooden box. Inside it was a suitcase seeping blood and emitting a foul odor.

According to local media, Cheung taught at the university’s engineering faculty for 16 years. Colleagues and students of Cheung expressed shock at the case.

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This isn’t the first high-profile murder involving a university professor at a Hong Kong university in recent years.

In 2015, a professor at Chinese University Hong Kong allegedly murdered his wife and daughter in a car by releasing carbon monoxide from a deflating yoga ball. He was sentenced to life in 2018.

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