Queens woman who allegedly stabbed, killed Great Neck lawyer arraigned

Queens woman who allegedly stabbed, killed Great Neck lawyer arraigned
Great Neck attorney Jim Li was reportedly stabbed to death on Monday, according to the NYPD. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The 25-year-old woman who is charged with murdering an immigration lawyer from Great Neck was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Tuesday and ordered held without bail, according to court documents.

​​Police said they responded to a 911 call of “an assault in progress” at 136-56 39th Ave. in Flushing around 11:44 a.m. on Monday. When officers from the 109th Precinct arrived at the building, they found immigration attorney Jim Li, 66, with stab wounds “to his body and neck,” officials said.

Xiaoning Zhang was also charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, along with murder. Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz said Zhang, a Flushing resident, faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

“As alleged, the defendant showed up in her lawyer’s office armed with two knives and, in an outburst of rage, stabbed the victim repeatedly throughout his body,” Katz said in a statement Wednesday. “Violence is never the solution to any dispute. Now a man is dead and a community grieving this tragic loss. The defendant is in custody and faces very serious charges for this senseless slaying.”

Efforts to reach Zhang’s lawyer for comment were unavailing.

Chris Li, who is said to have worked with Jim Li, told The New York Times that the firm had been working on a pro bono case with Zhang.

On Friday, according to The Times, Zhang asked Jim Li to remove a picture of her protesting outside the United Nations building from the internet. Chris Li told the Times that Jim Li told Zhang he could not do that and Zhang threatened him and attempted to choke him, when Jim Li called the police.

Police allegedly arrived at the office before 5 p.m. Friday, but no arrests were made. Chris Li told the Times Zhang came back to the office on Monday with a cake and expressed her gratitude for the employees.

Zhang then followed Jim Li into his office, when other employees began to hear screaming shortly after, according to The Times. Chris Li said he entered the office and saw Jim Li bleeding from his neck and abdomen with Zhang standing behind him. 

Efforts to reach Li’s office for comment were unavailing.

Li was born Sept. 7, 1955, in Wuhan. Li reportedly served in the Chinese Army at 15 years old before majoring in constitutional law at Beijing University.

As a doctoral student in 1989, Li served as a legal adviser to the Beijing Workers Autonomous Federation, an organization promoting students seeking democratic freedom.

Li also spent nearly two years in prison for his role in the Tiananmen Square protest movement.

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