China executes cult members guilty of McDonald's murder

Zhang Lidong stands trial on 11 October, 2014. He was executed on Monday after being convicted of intentional homicide.

(CNN)Two people have been executed in China following their conviction for a brutal, cult-related murder in a McDonald's restaurant last May, Chinese state media reported.

The two "cult members," father and daughter Zhang Lidong and Zhang Fan, were executed in east China's Shandong Province on Monday, following the approval of the use of the death penalty by the Supreme People's Court. The pair had been convicted of committing intentional homicide in the province's Zhaoyuan City.
The convicted duo attacked and ultimately killed a 37-year-old woman, Wu Shuoyan, last year after she refused to give cult members her phone number during a recruitment drive in the fast-food restaurant.
    The pair, along with three other people convicted in the attack -- including two other members of the Zhang family -- belonged to the Church of Almighty God, or "Quannengshen."
      Linked to kidnappings, violence and extortion, the Church of Almighty God has been on a list of 14 banned religious groups, issued by China's Ministry of Public Security, since 1995.
      The three other members of the cult involved in the incident were sentenced in October to jail terms ranging from seven years to life.
        Zhang Fan and Lyu, another member of the group, called the victim an "evil spirit," before Zhang bludgeoned her head with a chair, then jumped on her and trampled her head, state media reported at the time of their conviction in October.
          Before the execution, Yantai Municipal Intermediate People's Court arranged for Zhang Fan and Zhang Lidong to meet with their family.