You are reading

Woman Charged With Murder For Fatal Stabbing of Prominent Immigration Attorney in Flushing Monday: Queens DA

John Li (Photo: John Li and Associates)

John Li, pictured, was stabbed to death Monday (Photo: John Li and Associates)

March 16, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

A woman who was arrested in Flushing Monday following the fatal stabbing of a well-known Tiananmen Square activist turned immigration lawyer has been charged with murder.

Xiao Ning Zhang, 25, was charged at Queens Criminal Court Wednesday for allegedly stabbing attorney Jim Li to death inside his law firm at 136-56 39th Ave., according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Zhang, of Kissena Boulevard in Flushing, faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of killing the 66-year-old attorney, who was a leader in the student democracy movement at Tiananmen Square in 1989 and a prominent pro-Chinese-democracy activist.

According to the charges, Zhang showed up at Li’s fourth-floor office Monday shortly before noon and got into a heated argument with him.

The dispute escalated before Zhang, who had two knives in her possession, allegedly stabbed him in the neck, shoulders and torso. She was still in the office when responding police arrived on the scene and her clothes were stained with blood, prosecutors said.

Li was transported by EMS to NYC Health and Hospitals/Elmhurst but could not be saved.

An image from the scene of the stabbing Monday (Photo via Citizen)

According to multiple reports, the stabbing stemmed from a previous argument that took place at the law firm on Friday. Zhang allegedly caused a ruckus at the office after Li refused to take up an asylum case for her.

The office called the police Friday but she then ran away only to return Monday and confront Li.

Zhang came to the U.S. in August from China on an F-1 student visa to study in Los Angeles but did not attend and instead traveled to New York to claim asylum, the New York Daily News reported.

Her asylum was based on her claim that she was raped by police in China who sent her to a mental facility and that her life was in danger if she were forced to return home.

Li was a renowned attorney who lived in Great Neck.

He was jailed by the Chinese government in 1989 for 22 months for participating in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations which resulted in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of protesters.

Li came to the U.S. after his release seeking asylum and remained a pro-democracy activist, often helping Chinese people who had been persecuted by the Chinese government, according to reports.

Meanwhile, Katz said the stabbing was a senseless slaying.

“Violence is never the solution to any dispute,” Katz said. “Now a man is dead and a community grieving this tragic loss.”

Zhang was ordered back to court Friday. She also faces a weapons possession charge.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Queens Botanical Garden hosts Lunar New Year celebration with globally beloved Miffy

About 4,200 people joined the world-renowned beloved rabbit Miffy to ring in the Year of the Rabbit at Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Jan. 28. 

Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration included a visit from Councilman Shekar Krishnan, who gave remarks, followed by a program of activities for all ages. Attendees enjoyed a lion dance performance, zodiac crafts, demonstrations, lucky plant sales and more. Miffy was in attendance for photos, story time and to greet children throughout the event.

Mets owner Steve Cohen hosts second community visioning session regarding development of area around Citi Field

Hundreds of community residents and leaders gathered at the Piazza Club inside Citi Field to participate in a visioning session regarding the development of a nearby 50-acre lot. This marked the second visioning session New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has hosted at Citi Field in January as he attempts to collect as much community feedback regarding the development as possible.

Attendees of the visioning session went to a series of interactive stations, sharing what mattered most to them when it came to improving the area around Citi Field, including preferred forms of year-round entertainment, ability to access different forms of transportation and attainable local jobs and training. Information and input was collected from the community in how they would like to see the lot utilized. A common theme among many of those who took part in the visioning session was the desire to see something built there that would bring a lot of economic opportunity to the community and provide year-round entertainment.

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens doctor aims to bring awareness to women’s heart health

With February marking the beginning of American Heart Month, a cardiologist from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital spoke with QNS about the importance of heart health for women.

According to attending cardiologist Dr. Joanna Troulakis, approximately 400,000 women die as a result of cardiovascular diseases each year in the United States. She noted that women have suffered more cardiovascular disease deaths than men in recent years. When it comes to heart attacks, the mortality rate for women is higher than men.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

‘Where do we go now?’ Michaels set to close its doors in Fresh Meadows next month

The Michaels located at 187-04 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows will be permanently closing its doors on Feb. 23. The announcement that Michaels will be leaving the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center has led to an outpouring of reactions from many community members.

“We know this is disappointing to our customers in Queens, but we hope to continue to serve them at our other locations in New York City or online at Michaels.com,” a spokesperson for Michaels said in a statement to Patch.com.