Published on March 7th, 2013 | by Daniel Perlman0
Xiao Ye Bai, ‘Enforcer’ Slashed and Stabbed Man In Vegas, Will Spend The Rest Of His Life In Prison
Wen Jun Li was slashed and stabbed 32 times while frantically trying to escape a ruthless hit man for an Asian gang who was dressed in black and had tracked him to a dark karaoke bar several blocks west of the Las Vegas Strip.
Xiao Ye Bai, 26, a man prosecutors called an enforcer for a Taiwan-based gang known as United Bamboo, was sentenced Tuesday to life without parole in a Nevada state prison for Li’s bloody killing – plus what could amount to another lifetime for slashing two other people in the July 2009 attack at the Forbes KTV bar and restaurant.
Bai’s fate was sealed in December, when the same jury that convicted the martial arts-trained assassin at trial in November spared him the death penalty on the capital murder conviction.
Judge Michael Villani on Tuesday called the attack “senseless.” He sentenced Bai to life in prison for Li’s murder, and added a sentence of 32 to 85 years for Bai’s convictions on kidnapping, extortion, conspiracy to commit murder, and other felony charges.
Prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo said later he was satisfied with the outcome. During trial, he characterized Bai as a sociopath and a “hit man for an international organized crime group” who made a living killing people.
Bai’s lawyers, Robert Langford and Robert Draskovich, said Tuesday they intend to appeal Bai’s conviction and sentence. But they held little hope of success.
Bai’s lawyers never denied Bai attacked Li. They argued instead that Bai was a product of an abusive upbringing who didn’t intend to kill. They said after the December hearing that they were satisfied the jury spared Bai’s life.
Langford cast Bai as an “abused and frightened man in his 20s” who was hospitalized for three days in China after being beaten with a bat, then sent to a martial arts boarding school. Bai moved as a teenager to Los Angeles in 2005, where he became a permanent legal U.S. resident, Langford said.
The jury in Las Vegas was told that Bai searched for Li for several days prior to the Forbes KTV attack. When Bai learned that Li was at the karaoke bar, Bai’s then-girlfriend, Pei “Nikki” Pei, drove him there in a black Honda Accord with the license plate covered.
Bai went inside, where jurors were told Li saw Bai coming before grabbing another man, Jian Guo, and pushing him toward Bai.
Guo was cut on his arm before Bai caught Li fleeing down a hallway and set upon stabbing him 32 times.
A woman in the bar, Lin Yao, was stabbed four times when she tried to intervene, thinking that Bai was punching Li, according to testimony.
Pei, who initially faced the same charges as Bai, pleaded guilty before trial to reduced felony charges of accessory to murder for driving Bai to and from the club the night of the killing. She testified against Bai but said she didn’t know for several days afterward that Li was dead.
Pei, 26, was sentenced last month to two years’ probation.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have put a hold on Bai since his felony convictions, and Langford said he could be deported if he ever is freed from prison.
Source: The Huffington Post “Xiao Ye Bai, ‘Enforcer’ In Vegas Slaying, Will Spend The Rest Of His Life In Prison,” March 5, 2013.