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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
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Murder Described in ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow Trial

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The wife of a prominent businessman who was gunned down in his Chinatown import-export shop in 2006 testified Monday that her husband seemed worried in the days before he was murdered in her presence.

"I remember he kind of miserable sometimes. He did talk to me about, like he would go to spend more time in Las Vegas after Chinese New Year functions. He told me like he was trying to get away," Jenny Leung told jurors in the federal trial of Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, who is accused of arranging the killing of Allen Leung. Chow succeeded Leung as dragon head of the Ghee Kung Tong, a Chinese fraternal organization.

Leung said she was working alongside her husband in the shop's front office on Feb. 27, 2006, when a short, dark-complected Asian man burst through the door. She said she saw the man's face - he appeared to be in his 30s - before he slipped on a ski mask and shouted, "Robbery!"

He grabbed her by the hair and forced her to lie face-down on the floor by her desk. She heard her husband say, "I give you money," then at least three gunshots.

The man fled and Leung called 911. She said she saw her husband's body lying face-down on the floor, and that his close friend Jack Lee, who had been sitting across from Allen at his desk before the faux robbery, grabbed some things off the desk and he too took off.

Leung said police "came very fast," and rushed her to the Chinatown police station for an interview.

Chow's attorney J. Tony Serra asked Leung why she didn't tell police in that first interview that Lee had been in the store at the time of the shooting.

Leung said she had been too flustered, but told her son that night about Lee, who immediately told police.

Serra also asked whether it was true that Lee fled to Hong Kong. Leung answered yes.

Lee and Allen Leung were business partners, co-owners of the Golden Dragon restaurant, for which they paid rent to the Hop Sing Tong, a Chinatown group tainted by the criminal underworld. Leung and Lee were both Hop Sing elders, though no criminal activity had been linked to Leung.

Serra, who posited in his opening statement that Leung's wife had colluded with Lee and the killer, asked Leung on the stand about her husband's allegedly strained relationship with Lee.

"Isn't it true they were having arguments and disputes in the time frame that preceded the death of your husband?" Serra asked.

Leung said: "I don't know."

Serra: "Weren't you told that the night before he died there was a big argument between Jack Lee and Jack Lee's son concerning a restaurant in Los Angeles?"

Leung: "I personally don't know anything about it."

She said that on that day her husband and Lee had met with an attorney about a lease negotiation on the Golden Dragon.

Serra noted that after the shooting, Lee didn't check to see if Leung was OK, or stop to tend to his longtime friend.

He then turned to Leung's supposed dispute with Chinatown gangs in New York, who allegedly were challenging his leadership of the Ghee Kung Tong. Serra zeroed in on the Hung Moon, or "Red Door" Tong, asking: "Don't you know the Red Door ordered the hit of your husband? That the order came from New York?"

Leung said: "I don't know."

Chow is accused of running the Ghee Kung Tong as a criminal enterprise that trafficked in drugs, guns and stolen goods, and of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

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