One suspect dead, second suspect pleads not guilty in Oakland dentist’s murder
on November 22, 2022
Hasheem Bason, 33, charged with murdering an Oakland dentist in August, pleaded not guilty last Tuesday.
Bason, of Stockton, also is charged with slaying while lying in wait, special circumstances of killing for financial gain and use of a firearm, among other offenses.
At 2 p.m, on Aug 21, Dr. Lili Xu was shot and killed when she and her boyfriend pulled up to a curb on the 1000 block of Fifth Ave. in Oakland’s Little Saigon neighborhood.
The Oakland Police Department initially thought the murder was an attempted robbery.
Late last month, police filed charges showing they believe Bason was hired by Xu’s boyfriend, Nelson Peter Chia, 73, to commit the murder.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office reported on Oct. 28 that Chia died by suicide in Santa Rita jail hours after his arrest. In a news release, the office said Chia “was an active suspect in the murder investigation of his girlfriend, Dr. Lili Xu.”
According to probable cause records, Chia stood to gain roughly $1 million from Xu’s life insurance policies. Police allege that Chia offered Bason a “significant amount of money for murdering Xu.” They said cell phone records show communication between the two men starting in late July.
Xu, 60, had a dental practice in the Pacific Renaissance Plaza in downtown Oakland.
She graduated from Shanghai Second Medical University Dental School in 1985 and continued her studies at Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital. She came to the United States in 1995 to continue her dental career, according to her bio on her dental practice’s website.
Xu was also a ballet dancer, according to published reports, and student at the Shi Ballet Co.
The murder happened during a string of crimes against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community which ramped up during the pandemic. Roughly a month before Xu’s murder, a 52-year-old man was killed while sitting at an intersection near the Little Saigon neighborhood.
Many members of the community, including Chia himself, initially blamed the murder on anti-Asian hate.
“This is not a case about race; this is a case about greed,” Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said in a news conference.
Pretrial motions are set to begin in Alameda County Superior Court on Dec 13.
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