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Crown chooses direct indictment for men charged in Richmond restaurant shooting

Richard Charles (Ricky) Reed and Yuexi Lei face charges in relation to a fatal shooting at a Richmond sushi restaurant in 2020.
Manzo restaurant shooting
Reed and Lei are facing charges related to the fatal shooting at Manzo Itamae Japanese Restaurant in 2020.

The Crown has chosen to proceed by direct indictment for the first-degree murder of alleged money launderer Jian Jun Zhu.

Richard Charles (Ricky) Reed is charged with the first-degree murder of Zhu along with other charges. His co-accused, Yuexi Lei, is facing charges as an accessory after the fact to murder.

Proceeding by direct indictment means the Crown is sending Reed and Lei’s cases directly to trial and bypassing the preliminary hearing where a judge would have determined whether there was sufficient evidence to go to trial.

The decision to proceed with direct indictment can be made by the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General under s. 577 of the Criminal Code, and it applies in “circumstances involving serious violations of the law and where it is the public interest to do so,” reads the Public Prosecution Service of Canada’s website.

According to B.C.’s Crown Counsel Policy Manual, public interest considerations include when conducting or completing a preliminary inquiry could delay the trial process and make it unmanageable, when it’s necessary to protect ongoing investigations, or when it’s necessary to hold an expedited trial.

The Richmond News previously reported that Zhu was shot to death in Manzo Restaurant on Sept. 18, 2020 while dining with another alleged money launderer, Paul King Pao Jin.

Reed remains in custody while Lei has been released on bail.

Reed is scheduled to appear in Supreme Court on Sept. 14.