Jury selection for Li murder trial

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jurors for the second defendant in the murder of a local restaurateur are to be selected Thursday and possibly Friday in Fayetteville because of a ruling by Judge Robert Crigler.

Robert Marlow of Shelbyville -- defense attorney for Daniel Caluo Vasquez, 31, who was charged in the stabbing death of Wing Chiu Li nearly 15 months ago -- asked that the trial be conducted somewhere else because residents here have become familiar with the case.

In response, Judge Crigler decided almost two months ago to use a provision in state law allowing selection of a jury from another county in the judicial district and have them brought to the county where the crime occurred.

Marlow sought to have the trial in Moore County, but it does not border Marshall County, thereby nullifying use of the courthouse in Lynchburg for this trial.

Marlow opposed use of the Bedford County Courthouse. The large Hispanic population there might affect jury deliberations, Marlow said.

Li was helping his sons and their wives develop a second Chinese restaurant in Lewisburg. The family owns Peking Buffet and opened Fusion Cuisine in June.