In British Columbia, a “model prisoner” serving a 25-year sentence for the abduction and murder of a River Rock Casino loan shark is hoping for early parole, Canada’s Global News reports.
Chu Ming Feng was convicted in 2009 of the first-degree murder of Rong Lilly Li. On May 26, 2006, Li was lured from the doors of the Richmond, Vancouver casino into a hired minivan by Feng and accomplice Guo Wei Liang. The pair believed she would be carrying up to C$300,000 (US$226,000) in her purse. Instead, they found just C$500 (US$376) in cash and C$2,000 (US$1,500) in casino chips.
Feng claimed Liang strangled Li with a leather belt while he held her down. They buried her body the next day at Jericho Beach in Vancouver.
In addition to working for a loan-sharking gang, Li was a low-level employee at River Rock.
On Monday, a jury at the Supreme Court of British Columbia heard that Feng is “not the person he was when he committed the murder in 2006, and not the person he was when he stood before this court in 2009.” That’s according to his lawyer, Eric Purtzki, as reported by Global News.
Feng is hoping to get his sentence reduced under the BC Criminal Code’s “faint hope clause.” This gives those convicted of first-degree murder the right to appeal to the court for early parole after 15 years.
Purtzki is expected to call a psychologist to testify that Feng isn’t a risk to offend again. The Crown is expected to read an impact statement from Li’s daughter, who was a teenager when her mother was murdered, Global News reports.
The jury heard it had been Liang’s idea to abduct and rob Li after he borrowed money from her and incurred significant gambling debts. Feng agreed to take part and they agreed to split the spoils.
Feng took the $2,000 in casino chips, which he cashed at the casino the next day.
‘Magic Murder Water’
Richmond police were able to obtain cellphone records that linked Li to Feng and Liang. Feng was questioned and initially denied having any involvement in Li’s disappearance. He eventually delivered a written confession to police and later showed them where the body was buried.
Feng told police that Liang gave him a bottle of water in the van and he believed there was something in the water that made him act out of character.
At his trial, prosecutors said the “magic murder water” theory was “absurd.”
Liang never hung around to give his side of the story. He’s never been traced and it’s unclear whether he’s still alive.
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