Attorneys for ‘Shrimp Boy’ Want Out of Case

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Citing irreconcilable differences, the defense team for convicted Chinatown gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow moved Monday to withdraw from his case.
     In their filing, defense lawyers Tony Serra, Curtis Briggs and Tyler Smith said their motion to withdraw as his counsel arose out of confidential communications that resulted in irreconcilable differences with Chow, who was convicted in January of murder and racketeering.
     “The present state of the relationship makes it impossible for the defense team to proceed further on behalf of the defendant,” they wrote, noting that Chow agreed to the withdrawal.
     The withdrawal comes only days after U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer denied Chow’s motion for a new trial. In a 33-page order, Breyer rejected the defense’s claim that its extensive witness list had been unfairly limited, and that the government had breached Chow’s 2002 immunity agreement by impeaching him on cross-examination over his alleged involvement in the murder of a man named Danny Wong.
     In March, Breyer delayed sentencing Chow pending several motions by his attorneys, including the one for the new trial.
     Speaking by phone Monday, Smith said he couldn’t go into details on the defense team’s departure.
     “Until we know how Judge Breyer is going to respond, we can’t go into it,” Smith said.
     He said Chow has asked for an in-chambers meeting with Breyer to explain his reasons for parting with his counsel.
     “Maybe after that we can get into it,” Smith said.
     A hearing for the motion to withdraw is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15.
     “At that time Judge Breyer is probably going to look to see the status of everything. Hopefully he will have spoken with Raymond if he wants to by that time, and he’ll instruct as to what is going to happen from there,” Smith said. “But we’re not sure how Judge Breyer is going to react.”
     During a trial that lasted nearly two months, jurors heard testimony about gang violence. Andy Li, a member of the Hop Sing Tong, a San Francisco gang headed by Chow, testified in December that Chow ordered him to murder, rob, break legs and commit arson.
     The wife and son of a businessman gunned down in 2006 also testified, pointing the finger at Chow.

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