The years-long saga around notorious Chinatown dragonhead Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow came to an end today, at least until any appeal may get filed. As the LA Times reports, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer sentenced Chow to life in prison, as was expected, and was ordered to pay $16,000 in funeral expenses to the family of Allen Leung, who was gunned down, reportedly on Chow's order, in 2006.
Defense attorney J. Tony Serra wrote in a sentence memorandum that Chow will require constant medical care for his asthma and arthritis, and continued to paint a portrait of Chow as an asset to his community who was reformed after a previous stint in prison. "By all accounts Raymond Chow has pledged to live a humble life, characterized by public service and community outreach. He experienced a true epiphany after prison and thereafter devoted his life to bona fide social causes," Serra wrote.
Per the Associated Press, the prosecution wrote in their sentencing memo, "Chow is deserving of a life sentence and nothing less because of his unceasing criminal conduct from a young age, the seriousness and violent nature of that conduct, his mockery of real rehabilitation, his corruption of those around him and those younger than him, and his absolute lack of any remorse even in the face of his most recent convictions."
Further, prosecutors said, "The government doubts that the court, with all of its years of experience, has had occasion to sentence a defendant with a more violent and depraved past."
It appears the judge continued to side with the prosecution.
Chow is expected to appeal his January 2016 conviction, which was the reason that his defense team, which also included Curtis Briggs and Tyler Smith, filed a motion to quit the case in June. They cited some "irreconcilable differences" with their client, but Briggs also gave a statement saying, "This is a time when communication just be seamless so as to win the reversal he deserves, [and] it is time for us to let go and allow appellate lawyers to win his freedom."
Chow was convicted on 162 separate counts, including murder, but also various typical activities of organized crime like drugs, sale of stolen goods, racketeering and money laundering. The FBI's five-year investigation into the Chinatown underworld also led to the conviction of former state senator Leland Yee on racketeering charges, and the indictments of three more players in SF's City Hall earlier last year on corruption charges.