He had taken away a family business from her, and was living with another woman. That is why, prosecutors said, Hsiu-Chin "Linda" Lin murdered her ex-husband.

But her attorney argued that she shot and killed her ex-husband last week in the garage of their North Wales, Montgomery County, home because she "snapped" under the strain of emotional and physical abuse she had suffered at his hands.

At a preliminary hearing Wednesday a judge ordered Lin held for trial on first-degree murder and other charges.

Lin, 63 and just over 5 feet tall, arrived at court in a jail jumpsuit far too large for her diminutive figure. She listened with the help of a Mandarin Chinese language interpreter and cried throughout the hearing. At one point, her attorney had to ask the judge for a box of tissues.

She and her husband, Chien-Kuo "Charles" Lin, had been divorced for three years, according to testimony.

They had owned a packaging company in Lansdale, but the couple's son, Dennis Lin, told police his father had taken it away from his mother about six months ago.

The son also told police his father had been living with "a mistress" in Philadelphia's Chinatown for six months, according to a statement read aloud by a detective in court.

North Wales Police Officer Alexander Sansone testified that Charles Lin had arrived at the police station the afternoon of the shooting, asking for an escort to retrieve items from his ex-wife's home. Sansone went, and left after the boxes were removed from the home.

Dennis Lin told police he heard his parents quarreling after the officer left, according to his statement.

"My mother was yelling at my father about the business and the mistress and how she was going to go back to Taiwan and finish off the mistress' family," he told police.

Dennis Lin, 33, told police he graduated from Drexel University and worked at Merck & Co. until he suffered a stroke in 2010. He then stayed home and lived with his parents.

After quarreling in the garage, his mother went upstairs, according to his statement, and brought down her revolver. She asked Dennis Lin if he would be angry if she killed his father.

"No, because of the way he treated me when I was younger," he responded, according to his statement.

He then saw his mother call one of his sisters and tell her she was going to kill their father. He said they spoke for nine minutes as his sister urged his mother not to do it.

Dennis Lin said he remained inside as his mother went into the garage and shot his father. Police said he died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Afterward, she went inside and told her son to call the police. She sat at the kitchen table until they arrived. An officer testified Wednesday that she had no expression on her face.

After prosecutors had a detective read Dennis Lin's full statement, defense lawyer John I. McMahon Jr. called him to the witness stand.

"She was pretty angry," he said of his mother's emotions the day of the shooting.

Dennis Lin also testified that he had seen his mother and father get into a physical fight two weeks before the shooting, during which his father choked his mother.

After the shooting, Dennis Lin said, his mother "asked me to be good, to go with my sisters."

McMahon said his client "snapped" that day, and argued in court that the killing was not premeditated.

"This incident was the culmination of a long period of abuse, physical and emotional," he said after the hearing.

Prosecutors, however, argued to Magisterial District Judge Robert Sobeck that Lin had a plan to murder. Her son told police she had practiced firing her revolver into their backyard the week before the shooting.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Antonacio said Lin also chose to go upstairs to get her gun and warn her children.

"Each step she makes is a decision," he said. "She has to think about what she is doing."

Lin is being held without bail at the Montgomery County jail. Her formal arraignment is scheduled for July 20.

lmccrystal@phillynews.com

610-313-8116 @Lmccrystal