The man who was arrested for the contract killing of his partner, a beloved dentist in Oakland, California, allegedly plotted her murder to take control of her $12-$14 million estate.
Dr. Lili Xu, 60, was inside a parked Mercedes Benz sedan with her longtime boyfriend Nelson Chia, 73, when a gunman, now believed to be 33-year-old Hasheem Bason, approached them in a white Lexus and shot her dead at the intersection of East 11th St. and Fifth Avenue on Aug. 21.
Chia, who was arrested for his involvement in the murder-for-hire plot, reportedly hung himself in his cell hours after authorities announced his arrest alongside Bason on Friday.
According to police, phone records between Chia and Bason prove that the two suspects had been plotting the homicide since as early as July. Prosecutors allege that Chia had Xu killed by a hitman for financial gain.
UPDATE: In the weeks after Lili Xu was allegedly shot dead by Hasheem Bason, victim’s bf Nelson Chia gained control of many of her financial accounts & set up trusts so that he would have income from her estate for the rest of his life, per @oaklandpoliceca. Chia hanged himself pic.twitter.com/FwQRaeNUYF
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) October 31, 2022
Chia reportedly told investigators that Xu was worth between $12 and $14 million in property and assets from life insurance policies. According to officials, Chia was a trustee who would immediately receive $1 million if Xu died.
“Further communications after the murder between Chia and Bason demonstrate that Chia conspired with Bason to murder Xu for financial gain,” Oakland police Detective Yun Zhou reportedly wrote in court records.
“Chia agreed to provide Bason with a significant amount of money for murdering Xu,” Yun added. “Chia and Bason planned the day, time and place of the murder. Bason acquired a vehicle, recruited a driver, and waited to ambush Xu a block from the location of the appointment. Chia drove Xu to the agreed upon location.”
The 73-year-old allegedly paid Bason after gaining control of Xu’s assets.
Bason is set to be arraigned on Tuesday morning. It is unknown if authorities have identified the driver involved in the homicide.
Xu’s murder and Chia’s apparent suicide remain under investigation.
Hundreds of community members attended a vigil for Xu, where she was remembered as a dedicated practitioner and a passionate ballerina. The Chinese American moved to the U.S. in 1995 and had been a dentist for about 15 years. She and Chia, who lived together in the Oakland Hills, were romantically involved for 10 years.
Featured Image via Oakland Police Department