Huaichang Zhao, 46, the man who faces murder charges in the 2009 death of a Cupertino woman and the attempted murder of her husband, is scheduled to be in court Tuesday.
In addition to burglary charges, Zhao, who was hired to landscape a Cupertino couple's property, faces charges for the murder of Wei Wei Li and attempted murder charges of her husband, Bing Yi.
The Fremont man is accused of attacking the couple on April 17, 2009, with a pickax landscaping tool after a dispute over Zhao’s salary and the landscaping work he was expected to complete, said Matt Braker, deputy district attorney.
Police arrested Zhao on May 5, 2009, in Westminster, and he now faces 26 years to life in prison.
“He ran away, and the police had to find out where he was,” Braker said.
Zhao has been held in prison since his arrest with no bail, Braker added.
Zhao allegedly first attacked Bing Yi Li, the husband, by slashing him in the head with a pickax. According to Braker, Yi now has permanent vision and balance problems as a result of the attack.
“He then went into the house and attacked the mother, and killed her with the same tool in the same manner,” Braker said. “He bludgeoned her to death.”
Zhao allegedly attacked Wei Wei Li, the wife, to stop her from calling the police. Li died from the wounds suffered in the attack while the couple’s two children were still in the house, Braker added.
One of the children contacted the police after Zhao fled from the home. Neither of the children were hurt.
According to Amy Cornell, district attorney’s spokeswoman, the Monday court date will be in the main San Jose courthouse, but the trial will not be there. The upcoming court date will determine when and where the trial will be held.
Braker said he expects the defense to request to delay the start of the trial for further preparation. Zhao's defense attorney did not respond to repeated attempts by Cupertino Patch for comment.