A prosecutor in the trial of a man accused of killing three managers at a Santa Clara semiconductor company in 2008 said Thursday the defendant was resentful about being fired from his $125,000-a-year job and returned a day later to shoot the victims to death.
Jing Hua Wu, a former testing engineer for the firm SiPort, Inc., "begged for his job" back during a follow-up meeting with the three victims the afternoon of Nov. 14, 2008, and when they refused, he shot them, Deputy District Attorney Tim McInerny said.
"Revenge. That's what this case comes down to," McInerny said in his opening statement in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose Thursday morning.
McInerny said the killings were "planned, purposeful and premeditated."
Wu, 51, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder with special circumstances for the deaths of SiPort CEO Sid Agrawal, 56; its vice president of operations Brian Pugh, 47; and human resources manager Marilyn Lewis, 67.
SiPort, which made high definition radio chips, was bought by Intel in 2011.
The special-circumstance allegations could make Wu eligible for the death penalty if he is convicted.
Thursday in court, McInerny showed jurors graphic autopsy photos of the three victims and their bullet wounds.
He said Wu had purchased a small 9mm handgun at a gun store in Santa Clara, used it to practice at a gun range in Milpitas and bought 100 rounds of ammunition on the day of the shooting — six of which he used to shoot the victims at close range.
In his opening statement, Wu's defense lawyer, San Francisco civil rights attorney Tony Serra, described his client as "a law-abiding man, family man prior to this horrible, horrible episode," which he said resulted from Wu's family struggles in China and mental illness.
Serra said Wu grew up in Communist China. He lived through the Great Famine period of 1958 to 1961 when many people starved, and was there for the Cultural Revolution beginning in the mid-1960s when Wu's family was denounced for its previous ties to the Nationalist China movement.
Wu was repeatedly beaten for being associated with the nationalist group and once was held underwater and nearly drowned by political opponents, causing him to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, Serra said.
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