Sunset Park

Sunset Park waitress who stabbed customer gets 15 years in prison

May 3, 2017 By Lisa Flaugh Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Lan Shui Yu was sentenced on Tuesday for fatally stabbing a man in the Sunset Park restaurant where she worked. Eagle photo by Lisa Flaugh

A 37-year-old waitress who fatally stabbed her boss’s brother-in-law after an argument inside the Sunset Park restaurant where she worked was sentenced on Tuesday to 15 years to life in prison.

“I never had any intention of harm. Please be lenient with my sentencing, as I had no intention of death,” defendant Lan Shui Yu said through an interpreter before Justice Neil J. Firetog handed down his sentence in state Supreme Court in  Brooklyn.

Yu pleaded guilty on March 31 to murder in the second degree for fatally stabbing Jian Yang Zhang, 44, in Lucky Zhang restaurant at 5622 8th Ave. on the evening of Feb. 15, 2016.  

Yu was crying as court officers led Yu into the courtroom.

According to her attorney Telesforo DelValle Jr., Yu had worked for two and a half years at Lucky Zhang’s. She became embroiled in a dispute with Zhang who, according to Del Valle, was “very drunk and belligerent” and had called her a prostitute. Zhang was the restaurant owner’s brother-in-law.   

“Your honor, I would like you to keep in mind that Yu was in this country legally and has no record of crime in her life,” DelValle said. “Her family has expressed deep sorrow. She is very sad for the loss of his life but she still stands by her actions.”

In a statement, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said that Yu had “inexplicably” stabbed Zhang. After the victim “allegedly made a comment,” Gonzalez said, Yu slapped him, punched him in the head, picked up a knife and stabbed him in the back and then the heart. The incident was caught on video, he added.

The defendant had fled after the stabbing — Gonzalez said she stepped over the victim’s body — but was arrested hours later at her home nearby. Gonzalez said she told police that she had stabbed Zhang because he insulted her.  

Del Valle and Firetog both indicated in the courtroom that it was likely Yu will be deported to China before she  serves 15 years. But a spokeswoman for the district attorney said she would have to serve her sentence first.

Outside the courtroom, Yu’s family gathered solemnly with Del Valle to speak privately with him and after meeting with him he offered a statement about Yu’s sentencing.

“I think it’s very tragic, it’s a very sad thing. I look at it today as one family lost a father and another family lost a mother. Because no matter how much time she makes, she’s never going to be with her daughter and her son again. It’s tragic. I, personally think it’s too much time [that she has been given]. She won’t do the entire 15, she’ll be deported before then.”