Chu Ming Feng who was sentenced for the first-degree murder of River Rock Casino Resort loan shark Rong Lilly Li in 2006 is now seeking reduced jail time. A while back he was sentenced to 25 years in prison without jail time, but now he and his legal representation are asking a jury to recommend his jail time to be decreased. His lawyer is Eric Purtzki.
Back in May 2006, Mr. Feng and his accomplice Guo Wei Liang abducted Ms. Li in a rented minivan in Richmond. The two perpetrators strangled the former River Rock Casino Resort loan shark and buried her body at Jericho Beach in Vancouver. Mr. Feng was then convicted in the B.C. Supreme Court by a jury on October 28, 2022.
The Faint Hope Clause
There has been some development in Mr. Feng’s case. On Monday, Justice George Macintosh and a jury heard that the murderer become eligible for escorted leave from prison in September 2028 and for full parole in September 2031. But according to the Criminal Code’s “faint hope clause, a first-degree convict can request a reduced sentence after the first 15 years of the sentence.
Currently, Mr. Feng is in his 16th year of prison time. His lawyer, Mr. Purtzki shared that Mr. Feng has changed over the last 16 years. The lawyer said that there are witnesses from the Mission Institution and a psychologist who can confirm that the convict has had good behaviour and was transferred to minimum security. Mr. Feng himself is also booked to testify in court.
Crown lawyer Jeremy Hermanson noted that the jury will hear about an individual that could be described as a model prisoner. However, the jurors must consider all facts, including the written impact statement from Ms. Li’s daughter, who was a teenager when her mother was murdered. Mr. Feng did not testify in his trial but filed for an appeal which was rejected in 2012.
Evidence provided at the Cullen Commission’s inquiry into money laundering in B.C. includes a memo from 2006 that states that loan sharks in Richmond were a major concern. And despite Ms. Li’s murder and other loan shark crimes related to the local River Rock Casino Resort, former B.C. Liberal Solicitor General Rich Coleman dispersed the IIGET in 2009, which was six months before Mr. Feng’s trial.
Final Report and Reactions
In June, the Cullen Commission issued its final report on money laundering in casinos. It stated that from 2012 to 2015 casinos handled CA$376 million of suspicious cash. Also, the notorious Paul King Jin, got his own room at River Rock’s hotel which was used for big-time players. However, the commission heard that Mr. Jin was not charging interest to high-level borrowers and their debts were paid in China.
Still, after the final report, two whistleblowers in the inquiry and are far from happy with the results of the years-long investigation and its findings. The two individuals are Fred Pinnock and Muriel LaBine. The two were unhappy with the results of the investigation and commented that there should be more severe consequences.
Source: Mackin, Bob “Killer of River Rock casino loan shark seeks early parole” BIV, November 14, 2022