SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Prosecutors said Monday they will not seek the death penalty against a key defendant in a San Francisco Chinatown crime probe that led to the conviction of a California state senator.
The U.S. Attorney's Office indicated in a court filing that it won't seek the death penalty against Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow. Chow was already facing racketeering and money laundering charges when prosecutors earlier this month charged him with murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a potential sentence of death.
Chow is accused of arranging the 2006 shooting death of Allen Leung, who preceded Chow as leader of the Chinese fraternal group Ghee Kung Tong. He has pleaded not guilty.
The FBI alleges Ghee Kung Tong was a racketeering enterprise, and that undercover agents laundered $2.6 million in cash from illegal bookmaking through the organization. The investigation of the Ghee Kung Tong also led to the arrest of state Sen. Leland Yee, who pleaded guilty to racketeering in July.
Chow is also accused of soliciting the murder of Jim Tat Kong, a suspected organized crime figure.
Chow's attorney, Curtis Briggs, has said his client had nothing to do with the slayings and has called the allegations ridiculous.
Chow previously pleaded not guilty to racketeering and money laundering and is scheduled to go on trial next month.