Jin Shen Liu, 44, the owner of the Golden Wok restaurant in St. Albans, was killed Sept. 1 while making a delivery to an isolated Springfield Gardens home. The teenagers allegedly lured Liu to the front of a vacant home, put a bag over his head, and began punching him and beating him with a brick.
Charged with murder in the second degree are Stacy Royster, 18, of Rosedale; James Stone, 17, of Jamaica; Jamel Murphy, 17, and Daryyl Tyson, 18, both of Springfield Gardens; and a 15-year-old from Springfield Gardens who was not identified because of his age, said Brown.
The defendants each face 15 to 25 years in prison, with the exception of the 15-year-old who is being charged as a juvenile offender and could be required to serve nine years to life in prison if convicted, Brown said.
The indictment was handed up last Thursday. The defendants were also indicted on charges of manslaughter, robbery, and weapon possession, said Brown.
The defendants will enter their pleas on Jan. 17, said Mary de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the DA's office.
"This was a terribly tragic case," said Brown. "Mr. Jin Shen Liu was a hardworking immigrant who left a wife and two children."
Brown said that on the night of the murder the teens were together at one of the defendants' homes and had eaten Chinese food. He said the teens wanted more food, so they allegedly hatched a plan to rob a deliveryman.
Brown said Royster called Golden Wok and asked that the food be delivered to a vacant house at 130-19 176th St. Brown said they allegedly planned to have Royster sit on the steps while the others hid and when the deliveryman arrived to throw a bed sheet over his head and steal the food.
The 15-year-old, who was 14 at the time of the incident, allegedly bashed Liu in the head twice with a brick, according to the indictment.
"I was afraid of that," said Luther Mook, director of the Homecrest Community Services in Brooklyn, which has helped collect donations for the Liu family.
Liu said since the 15-year-old is believed to have caused the fatal injuries, he should face the same charges as the other defendants.
He also criticized the judge for granting $500,000 bail to Royster, whose family has not yet been able to raise the money to post bail.
"Why should she get bail? She could have planned the whole thing," Brown said.
Mook said Liu's widow, Bio Zuh Chen, 38, has received more than 400 letters containing condolences and donations, primarily from New York City residents.
The restaurant has been closed since the shooting, and the family has lost its only source of income. Chen said in an interview with the Times-Ledger several months ago her main concern was finding suitable housing for her family since she and her two children live in makeshift rooms behind the St. Albans restaurant.
"Her kids have had to grow up real quick," said Mook. He said the family was still planning to move from their St. Albans apartment and hoping to sell the restaurant business.
Brown said Liu "was killed without provocation in a shocking and senseless crime which stunned the city."
©2001 Community News Group
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