A Clark County jury is deciding whether a killer should pay for the crime with his life. Jow Ye Bai was convicted of stabbing Wen Jun "James" Li 32 times inside a crowded karaoke bar. News 3's Sandra Gonzalez is in the newsroom with the developments.
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Xiao Ye Bai will soon await a decision on his life. The convicted killer will soon have his future in the hands of a jury that could determine if he deserves the death penalty.
Bai wore headsets during the penalty phase of his trial as prosecutors try to show the jury that Bai has a history of violence and killing. The 25-year-old had a murder warrant from San Gabriel, California when he came to Las Vegas.
It was discovered after Bai was arrested for the 2009 murder in which he was just convicted. That case stems from a stabbing at a karaoke bar on Jones Boulevard. He was convicted Monday for stabbing a man 32 times over a $10,000 gambling debt.
The 2008 San Gabriel case was brought to the attention of jurors in the penalty phase, by police both in California and Las Vegas, with forensics testimony and photos and video retrieved from a camera obtained from Bai.
In one photo there are guns and the word “Hitman”, and in a video, Bai is seen proudly assembling guns on camera.
During opening statements, prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo told jurors about the shooting in San Gabriel: “The defendant produces a .40 caliber semi-automatic firearm and shoots Mr. Lu in the leg and shoots Mr. Li and then fires a bunch of more times leaving him lying on the ground bleeding from the initial shots fired. He flees the scene. He doesn't just flee the scene as you know. He flees the state.”
But defense attorneys are trying to save Bai’s life. Attorney Robert Langford told the jury justice should be tempered with mercy.
“Mr. Bai grew up in a terrifying environment for a young man, any person. His mother beat him with a baseball bat,” Langford said.
One defense witness was called, a friend of Bai’s from China. Defense attorneys are expected to show that Bai had an abusive childhood, and was the object of ridicule from a martial arts school.
Bai was also expected to read a statement Tuesday, but may do that Wednesday when testimony resumes. Deliberations may start Wednesday afternoon.
Bai could receive at worst the death penalty; at best two decades in prison.