For release on July 27, 2012
CONTACT: Brian Welch, Supervising Deputy District Attorney
408-792-2624 SOFTWARE ENGINEER SENTENCED TO LIFE FOR SLAYING LAWYER Jason Cai, a 54-year-old San Jose software engineer, was sentenced to life without parole plus 25 years Thursday, July 26, 2012 for gunning down a lawyer three years ago. Xia Zhao, a 32-year-old San Jose wife and mother, was representing Cai’s former wife's family in a $15 million civil wrongful death lawsuit against Cai when she was slain. In addition to the mandated sentence, the Honorable David A. Cena ordered that the convicted murderer pay more than $700,000 as compensation for the lost income Ms. Zhao would have earned and provided for her family had she lived.
Said Prosecutor Brian Welch: “Because of greed, Xia Zhao paid the ultimate price for pursuing justice on behalf of a family convinced that Jason Cai murdered their daughter. Because of greed, Ms. Zhao's parents have suffered the devastating loss of their daughter. Because of greed, Ms. Zhao's husband will never grow old with his wife. Because of greed, Ms. Zhao's son will grow up without knowing his mother. Jason Cai will spend the rest of his life in prison without any possibility for parole, and his victims' survivors have as their only comfort an inadequate notion: "Justice has been served."
On April 11, 2012 a jury found Cai guilty of the July 1, 2008 murder of Ms. Zhao while lying in wait. Two years earlier, a jury hung 11-1, in favor of convicting Cai on the same charges. The District Attorney’s Office decided to try him again.
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. Ms. 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.