For release on April 11, 2012
Jeff Rosen, District Attorney
CONTACT: Brian Welch, Supervising Deputy District Attorney
SAN JOSE SOFTWARE ENGINEER FOUND GUILTY OF SLAYING LAWYER
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - Jason Cai, a 53-year-old San Jose software engineer, was found guilty of first-degree murder for gunning down a lawyer three years ago. Xia Zhao, a 32-year-old San Jose wife and mother, was representing his former wife's family in a $15 million civil wrongful death lawsuit against Cai.
After a five-week trial and two days of deliberation, a jury of eight women and four men found Cai guilty of the July 1, 2008 murder of Zhao while lying in wait. The Honorable David A. Cena remanded Cai without bail.
He is scheduled to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole at 1:30 p.m. on May 24 in the Hall of Justice’s Department 34.
“I feel gratified that justice has finally been done for Xia Zhao and her family,” said prosecutor Brian Welch.
Two years ago, a jury hung 11-1, in favor of convicting Cai on the same charges. The District Attorney’s Office decided to try him again. Some of the jurors from the 2010 trial attended Wednesday’s verdict.
This is the third time Cai has faced a murder charge. In 2006, Cai was acquitted of murdering his wife, Ying Deng. She was found dead in 2003 in the family's swimming pool. Cai had taken out $250,000 in life insurance on his wife not long before, money he was prevented from collecting due to Zhao’s pending suit.
Zhao had filed a restraining order against Cai soon before her slaying, on the grounds that he had stalked and threatened her, attempting to get her to drop the suit.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen, who as a homicide prosecutor tried the case six years ago against Cai for his wife’s murder, said Wednesday: “This time, Mr. Cai did not escape justice.’’