The killer of a man who was shot in Burnaby over an $80 debt will finally go to jail.
The sentence comes 13 years after Shaoxin Zhang, 19, was killed in a Burnaby parking lot on Jan. 22, 2006.
Lee Chia Weng was convicted of his murder, and the attempted murder of Te “Ralph” Wu in August, and sentenced on Oct. 4. The shooting, according to court documents, was over $80 Zhang owed for tickets to Au Bar, a nightclub in Vancouver.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice T. M. McEwan sentenced Weng to life in prison with no chance of parole for 12 years the murder, and nine years for the attempted murder, to be served concurrently.
According to court documents, Weng lived in Taiwan before coming to Canada in 1993 as an investor, before going back to Taiwan in 1997. He returned to Canada in 2003 and stayed there till 2006 as a permanent resident. Weng left Canada for Taiwan the day after the shooting, court documents state, and set up a new life there: he had a wife, a nine-year-old daughter and a four-year-old-son.
“He lived openly in Taiwan and he apparently worked at a profession that he was relatively successful in,” the file reads. As there is no extradition agreement with Taiwan, Weng was not sent back to Canada to face his charges until he went to South Korea.
McEwan reference two victim impact statements in his oral reasons for sentencing. Zhang’s mother wrote a “heartfelt letter” about how devastated she was by her son’s death.
“It is quite obvious that she was seriously hurt by this and she has waited 12 years or more for this outcome and is hoping that Mr. Weng is brought to justice,” McEwan said.
Wu, the other man injured in the shooting, had been Zhang’s best friend. He wrote he felt guilty over Zhang’s mother losing her only child, and that he cannot face her even now. Wu also had “some worry that the killer would find him,” McEwan said.