California man guilty of 1999 murder
A murder case dating back to 1999 finally came to an end Friday.
Raymond Wong, 44, of Pinole, Calif., was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Alice Sin, whose body was dumped along Interstate 80 in Churchill County, according to the Contra Costa Times.
According to the Times, Sin’s family burst into tears as jurors hustled out of the courtroom after the month-long trial.
Pinole is about 12 miles north of Berkeley. Wong faces 50 years to life at his sentencing Sept. 18.
“I raised my daughter for 18 years, and he has her for two years and she’s gone,” said Sin’s father, Wah Sin, told the Times. “He’s an animal.”
Four months pregnant, Alice Sin, 21, disappeared on Nov. 21, 1999. Wong said the last time he saw her leave the home they shared with their 1-year-old son was to meet a Diablo Valley College group.
No meeting was scheduled, however, and he reported her missing the next day, the Times reported. In addition, Sin told friends Wong did not want another baby, according to prosecutor Mary Knox.
Knox said Wong had another pregnant girlfriend, Jessica Tang, with whom he conspired to kill Sin.
According to the Times, charges may be filed against Tang for her part.
Sin’s body, meanwhile, was discovered in January 2000 in Churchill County. She had been shot numerous times and mutilated by human or animal activity or both.Her abdomen was sliced open and the fetus removed.
In a 2012 interview, Churchill County District Attorney Art Mallory said Sin’s body was dumped and discovered by a man checking mining claims. Mallory said evidence suggested Sin was killed before Wong entered Nevada, so authorities and prosecutors from Pinole assumed jurisdiction.
According to previous reports, Pinole police found Sin’s car in a shopping mall parking lot one half mile from Wong’s home on Nov. 24, 1999. A search using a police dog alerted police to a cadaver in the trunk, but no body was located.
A search of Wong’s residence found a 9-mm handgun, and Wong failed a lie-detector test administered on Nov. 30, the LVN previously reported. According to a Jan. 28, 2000, story in the LVN, Wong was deceptive on two questions regarding Sin. The first, “Do you know what happened to Alice Sin?” and the second, “Are you lying about what happened to Alice Sin?”
According to the Times, on Nov. 25, 1999, State Farm denied a $2 million insurance policy Sin applied for in October 1999.
Law enforcement also found Monopoly money with the letters “NWO” and “ZOG” written on the bills. According to reports, the letters represented white supremacist groups, but an investigator told the Times the money was a “misdirection tactic intended to deflect suspicion from any suspects who may be closer to home.”
In addition, Wong and Tang left the U.S. to Canada shortly after Sin’s body was discovered and their marriage. The Times and several other media outlets received an email after the pair left for Canada claiming to be from a white supremacist group. The email claimed responsibility for Sin’s murder.
According to the Times, police traced the email to a cyber cafe in Calgary, Canada, where the owners identified Wong being in the cafe and using the same computer.
According to the Times, defense attorney Tony Serra objected to the jurors knowing images of mutilated women, and a “snuff story” about a woman’s rape, murder and dismemberment were found on Wong’s computer. He argued that Wong was innocent, accused based on circumstantial evidence.
“I consider it a miscarriage of justice. I have a hunch the jury here rendered an emotional judgment,” Serra told the Times. “They certainly didn’t go through the evidence in such a short time period. We will 100 percent appeal.”
Wong, meanwhile, served a 27-month prison sentence shortly after moving in with Tang after police discovered child pornography on his computer.
He then fled to China under a false name in 2009, but he was arrested at San Francisco International Airport in 2011 when he tried to re-enter the U.S.
In the span of the murder and trial, several witnesses died including a key investigator, state Department of Justice special agent Wilson Van Alst, lead Pinole detective, Matt Carmichael, now the police chief at UC Davis, told the Times.
“I’m standing here in Lowe’s crying,” Carmichael said after hearing about the verdict by phone from the Times. “Today just confirms that our system does work. There’s no question as to who killed that young woman and her unborn child.”
Sin’s father expressed his family’s gratitude to everyone who worked on the case. He recalled Carmichael promising him in 1999 that they would “catch the bad guy.”
“He did it. He caught the bad guy,” Wah Sin told the Times through heavy sobs.