DA won't seek death penalty for Mtn View man

Jing Hua Wu accused of triple murder at Santa Clara company last November

Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr announced Thursday that she will not seek the death penalty against a Mountain View man accused of killing three colleagues at a Santa Clara semiconductor company last fall.

Jing Hua Wu, 47, was charged with three counts of murder, with a special allegation on each count that he personally used a firearm, as well as a special circumstance charge of killing multiple victims, according to Deputy District Attorney Jeff Rosen.

On Nov. 14, 2008, Wu was fired from his job as an engineer in testing and production at SiPort Inc., which makes chips for high-definition radios.

He returned later that afternoon and shot three people: SiPort CEO Sid Agrawal, 56, of Fremont; vice president of operations Brian Pugh, 47, of Los Altos; and human resources manager Marilyn Lewis, 67, of San Jose.

If convicted of all charges, Wu could face up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The special circumstance charge made Wu eligible for the death penalty. However, after reviewing witness statements and physical evidence, and taking into account input from the families of the three victims, among other considerations, Carr decided not to seek the death penalty.

"While this case involves the murder of three innocent victims, we took into consideration the feelings of the victims' families, the defendant's lack of criminal history prior to the murders, and the likelihood of a jury returning a death verdict against the defendant," Carr said in a statement.

"Under these circumstances, a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole is an appropriate sentence," she said.


Like this comment
Posted by localmom
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 1, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Delores Carr does NOT know what she is doing. I don't care what "the families" think!! That is not what is important in capital murder cases. It is a crime against "the state". The victim is dead and has no recourse, they must depend on the prosecutor to determine the appropriate penalty given the magnitude and circumstances of the crime. Doesn't matter one WHIT what the family members, neighbors, witnesses, or ANYONE ELSE thinks that the murderer should get. I'm not particularly FOR the death penalty, I am just pointing out a very serious irregularity in D. Carr's decision making process. This sets a very poor example for anyone else who has a workplace grievance, picks up a gun, and starts spraying bullets---"hey, Ms. Carr won't put me in the chair!" The penalty should fit the crime, within the parameters the law provides. It doesn't matter at all what a bunch of civilian observers say. That's what Ms. Carr is paid to do. Once again, our tax dollars at work.

Like this comment
Posted by whatever
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 2, 2009 at 8:24 am

Whats the special circumstances (We get to house another capital crime from another country. [Portion removed by Mountain View Voice staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by knowitall
a resident of another community
on Aug 3, 2009 at 8:36 am

Actually, localmom, Dolores (and all DA's offices) are very consistent in this regard. The victims' families' wishes are ALWAYS taken into consideration. In fact, DA's offices across the country try very hard to honor the victims' families' wishes. That is the considerate and proper thing to do. The families speak on behalf of the victims themselves. Prosecuting the case brings closure for them. Either way, this suspect will never be a threat to the community again. But this way, the families' wishes are being honored. Unless you've been there, don't judge! Besides, if you ever paid any attention to the legal system at all, you would know that sitting on death row actually generally costs more than housing someone for life. The appeals process takes FOREVER and costs tons and tons of taxpayer dollars. Either way, it's expensive. God forbid you should ever have a family membered murdered, but if it happened, you would absolutely want the DA's office to consider your wishes for punishment, whatever those wishes might be. There are also a lot of other legal nuances involved here, but you are clearly too set in what you THINK you know to consider them, so I won't bother explaining.

Like this comment
Posted by localmom
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 3, 2009 at 10:10 am

To knowitall, and anyone affected by homicide, I am very, very sorry for your loss and did not mean to sound insensitive to the families. They are of course extremely important in the process, and should be listened to during the proceedings. I have family members who are lawyers, and have some understanding of the process, and was under the impression that murder is a capital crime (against the state) and therefore the consequences are considered against what the perpetrator has done as far as affecting society. Homicide has a more far ranging impact that other crimes, and that is why the decision regarding punishment is so meaningful and public. Please correct me if I am wrong, those of you in the public sphere who deal with these issues. It sends a very important message. Of course family engagement is important, but the lesson is for the greater good in my opinion, and mindless workplace shootings are rather heinous and need to be made examples of. That is my 2 cents. Hope that makes it a bit more clear, sorry if I sounded insensitive. I would be devastated if this happened to one of my family members and would hope and pray for justice in the best possible form with the most to be learned by the perpetrator and future such criminals.

Like this comment
Posted by Death vs Money
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 4, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Whatever your opinion is of the death penalty is here is something that should be looked at. A death penalty sentence in California is twenty times more expensive the tax payers than a life sentence without parole. The appeals that go into a death penalty case only benefit the lawers that are not paid by the state or local government. Get your conviction, put them in a cell and forget. Hopefully they get an infection die before they benefit on the better medical treatment than the rest of us. I just feel sorry for the guards that have to deal with them daily and the family of victims that have to live knowing that the one that killer their loved one is still alive but at least locked up.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Burger chain Shake Shack to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 2,628 views

Eat, Surf, Love
By Laura Stec | 3 comments | 983 views

Couples: So You Married Mom or Dad . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 970 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 2 comments | 605 views