A 33-year-old California man is charged with murdering Lili Xu, a 60-year-old dentist, in August. But as the Mercury News reports, suspect Hasheem Bason has been left holding the bag for a crime that police say was conceived of by another man: Nelson Chia, 73. He was Xu's partner of a decade, and he killed himself in the Santa Rita Jail on Friday following his Thursday arrest for plotting to kill Xu. Fox News cites court documents that detail the crime: Xu and Chia were headed to a massage appointment in Oakland on Aug. 21 when Xu was shot as she exited the car. Per the News, Chia presented himself as distraught, but police say it was an act, and that the motive was Xu's wealth: some $12 million to $14 million in assets and life insurance policies.
Police say they have records of calls between Chia and Bason dating to the month before Xu's death. Oakland Detective Yun Zhou Chia said the men's communications show Chia promised to pay Bason in exchange for killing Xu. "Chia and Bason planned the day, time and place of the murder. Bason acquired a vehicle, recruited a driver, and waited to ambush Xu a block from the location of the appointment. Chia drove Xu to the agreed upon location.” KRON4 cites a warrant in stating that after Xu's death, Chia gained control of "numerous financial accounts belonging to Xu. Investigators further learned that Chia orchestrated the accounts and trusts so that he would have an income from the estate of Lili Xu for the rest of his life." Chia allegedly paid Bason after Xu's assets transitioned to him. (Read more murder plot stories.)