Wah Mee Massacre prisoner closer to release

SEATTLE -- Wai Chu "Tony" Ng, one of the three men convicted in the Wah Mee Massacre, will begin serving the last of his seven sentences, following a decision by the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board.

Ng was convicted of 13 counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault for his involvement in the deadliest murder spree in the city's history that left 13 people dead.

He received seven sentences to be served consecutively, with each having a maximum of life in prison.

Ng, who is currently serving his sixth sentence, requested that he be moved to his final robbery sentence, which has a minimum term of 65 months.

The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board unanimously decided "now is the time to parole Mr. Ng to his final count," according to his report.

Ng has displayed "a positive attitude and work ethic" while behind bars, and has "incurred no major infractions" since his last board review in February 2007, the board said. The report also quoted a psychological evaluation conducted earlier this month which found Ng to have low levels of psychopathy and at low risk of reoffending.

At the parole hearing earlier this month, Ng "took responsibility for his actions and did not minimize his participation in these horrendous murders," the board said. The report added Ng's admission that "he could have tried to stop this from occurring" and "he could have run away and sought help from others."

The board unanimously decided "now is the time to parole Mr. Ng to his final count," the report said.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg criticized the decision, which he believes grants mercy to an undeserving criminal.

"The Wah Mee massacre was the most serious crime in Seattle history and Mr. Ng has already received too many breaks. That is why we opposed moving Mr. Ng to his last count of robbery," Satterberg said. "This decision paves the way for his eventual release in only four to five years from now. That is simply not a long enough sentence for the crimes that he has committed."

Ng has so far served 292 months for his involvement in the killings.

Ng, along with Willie Mak and Benjamin Ng were convicted in the 1983 massacre that shocked the city.

Just before midnight on Feb. 18, two of the three men burst into the gambling hall. They tied up 14 people and robbed them of tens of thousands of dollars before opening fire.

Only one person, Wai Chin, survived. He told police that he knew who the killers were.

Willie Mak was the mastermind. Mak had racked up thousands in gambling debt at another club where he worked.

He enlisted Benjamin Ng, an old high school classmate. With Wai Chin's descriptions, police caught Mak and Benjamin Ng within hours of the murders.

Tony Ng escaped to Calgary, Canada, where he hid out for nearly two years.

After three of the highest profile murder trials in Seattle history, Willie Mak was sentenced to death. It was reduced later to life in prison without parole.

Benjamin Ng also received a life sentence.

Tony Ng received his seven consecutive terms after claiming Mak forced him to take part in the killings. He was acquitted of murder charges, and remains the only one of the three eligible for parole.

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