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Conviction in Silicon Valley Lawyer Murder Trial
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On Thursday, Jason Cai, 53, was convicted of murdering a young attorney in the Silicon Valley. Prosecutors working the case claim that the murder was an act of revenge on the part of Cai. It took the jury only two days of deliberation to convict Cai, who ambushed lawyer Xia Zhao in the parking lot of her office in San Jose. The office is located on Hamilton Avenue. Zhao was shot by Cai twice. Zhao was a mother and wife.

Cai was tried for killing Zhao 19 months ago for the first time but the jury in that case deadlocked at 11-1 in support of conviction. Zhao was killed in 2008 and Cai was in custody not much later. In 2003, Cai’s wife, Ying Deng, drowned in the family pool at their Cupertino home. Cai was put on trial for murder in that case but was acquitted of murder by the jury even though evidence pointed to Deng being struck on the head. Prosecutors dismissed the case when the jury deadlocked on charges of manslaughter.

  
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Deng’s mother filed a wrongful death suit in the case, which is when Zhao met Cai. Zhao served as an attorney in the case until she was murdered in 2008. According to prosecutors, Zhao was targeted in order to end the suit. It has been reported that Cai will receive a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Brian Welch, prosecutor on the Zhao case, was able to prove that Cai stalked and threatened Zhao along with other lawyers in an effort to have the suit dropped. The lawsuit filed was for $15 million. Zhao was able to prohibit Cai from inheriting his wife’s property in China. The lawsuit also prevented Cai from obtaining his wife’s $250,000 life insurance policy.

Cai put so much fear into Zhao that she repeatedly took pictures of Cai with her cellphone, purchased a life insurance policy and even applied for a restraining order against him. One jurist working the case said that Cai ‘hung himself’ and said he was ‘very arrogant.’

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Other unnamed jurors called him “smug,” “smirking,” a “liar” and “blank.” During the initial trial for Zhao’s murder, Cai did not testify.

“The guilty never react,” said prosecutor Brian Welch, who worked on both trials of Cai. “They know it’s the right verdict.”



Cai is scheduled for sentencing on May 24 and will be sentenced by Judge David A. Cena. Zhao’s husband, Kevin Schwarckopf, said “This is a good day. It’s been a long time coming.”



 

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