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Murder-for-hire of Oakland dentist suspect Nelson Chia dies in jail

OAKLAND, Calif. — A 73-year-old man arrested on suspicion of hiring somebody to kill his longtime girlfriend, a distinguished San Francisco Bay Area dentist, died by suicide whereas in police custody, authorities mentioned.

The deadly taking pictures of Lili Xu, 60, final August in Oakland was believed on the time to be a theft that ended with a murder. But this week investigators alleged that Nelson Chia employed Hasheem Bason, 33, to kill Xu.

Both males have been arrested Thursday on homicide expenses, the Bay Area News Group reported. The subsequent day Chia was discovered lifeless inside a holding cell at Santa Rita Jail, in response to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.

The killing drew consideration each as a result of of Xu’s prominence in the Oakland Chinatown group and on account of fears of anti-Asian violence, stoked by earlier hate crimes in the Bay Area.

Oakland police Chief LeRonne Armstrong mentioned at a information convention Friday that as investigators probed the case, it “did not seem to be a typical robbery-related murder … something seemed to be off.”

“This is not a case about race or hate,” Armstrong mentioned, “but about greed.” He didn’t elaborate on the potential monetary motive behind the crime.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley mentioned earlier than Chia’s demise grew to become recognized that his homicide cost would come with a particular enhancement of searching for monetary acquire because of this of the killing.

It wasn’t recognized Saturday if Bason, of Stockton, has an lawyer who might converse on his behalf. He was held with out bail and scheduled for arraignment subsequent week.

Investigators consider Bason fired the gun that killed Xu on Aug. 21 in an Oakland neighborhood the place she and Chia had gone to go to a spa. Initial experiences have been {that a} suspect obtained out of a automobile and tried to rob Xu of her purse earlier than taking pictures her and fleeing in the automobile. Chia was not injured.

Xu, who got here to the United States from Shanghai in 1995, had lived in the realm for many years and ran dental practices in Oakland’s Chinatown and Castro Valley, in response to the Bay Area News Group.

She and Chia had been companions for greater than a decade and had lived collectively in a house in the Oakland hills.

If you’re battling suicidal ideas or are experiencing a psychological well being disaster and reside in New York City, you may name 1-888-NYC-WELL without cost and confidential disaster counseling. If you reside outdoors the 5 boroughs, you may dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

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