OTTAWA – When Chinese-born, West Vancouver-based multi-millionaire Gang Yuan was beaten with a hammer, shot twice and had his body cut into 108 pieces in 2015, the simplest part of the story ended with a manslaughter conviction, but the fate of Yuan’s fortune remained very unclear.
Now the Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal from the woman whose identity is protected by a ban but who is described as Mother 1, the first of five women who had a child with Yuan and who claims to be his wife.
Thursday’s denial of leave to appeal ends Mother 1’s long legal battle to be declared his wife who, because Yuan died without a will, would have entitled her to half of her estate of 7 to $21 million while Canadian law would have divided the rest among his five children.
The British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a lower court ruling and dismissed Mother 1’s marriage application last December, finding there was no ‘marriage-like relationship’ between she and Yuan, though the two met before Yuan arrived in Canada and he supported her in China, where she was living with and caring for her parents.
As usual, Canada’s highest court did not give reasons for its decision on Mother 1’s claim.
The succession dispute was swept away by notoriety due to Yuan’s untimely and bloody death at the hands of a once-privileged business partner, Li Zhao.
Court documents from Zhao’s 2020 B.C. Supreme Court trial show he disapproved of Yuan’s playboy lifestyle and treatment of women, but Yuan, Zhao and Zhao’s family shared a large house from West Vancouver and got along quite well.
That was until May 2, 2015, when the two got into a fierce fight after Zhao believed that Yuan had first made derogatory remarks about an invention of Zhao’s and then aggravated the offense by offering to marry the Zhao’s beloved and only daughter as part of the Invention Funding Award.
The documents detail a brutal and protracted fight between the pair that only ended in the driveway of their home when Zhao, who told investigators he feared ‘life was in danger’, fired a shot. twice at point-blank range with a rifle primarily used to shoot rabbits.
Yuan was shot in the neck and died in the driveway.
In finding Zhao guilty of manslaughter, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Terence Schultes in his October 2020 oral decision said that’s when things came to a head. “unquestionably bizarre”.
Zhao attempted to dispose of the body by using power tools to cut it into what the decision describes as “108 discrete fragments”.
The 55-year-old even explained his grisly job in the home’s garage, agreeing with the family’s nanny as she passed by that he had gone hunting and ‘chased a bear’ .
Zhao had previously ordered his wife and elderly mother-in-law to get away from the scene, but they eventually got a family friend to help them call the police and Zhao was arrested at his home the next morning. and charged with second degree murder.
Schultes ruled that the Crown failed to prove the necessary mens rea for that charge and found Zhao guilty of manslaughter and interference with human remains, sentencing him to 10 years and six months on both counts. of accusation.
Since Zhao never applied for bail pending trial and the case was protracted by delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sentence handed down nearly two years ago was reduced. to reflect credit for remand, leaving a total remaining term of two years. , four months and eight days to serve for Yuan’s murder.
.If Zhao did not apply for early release, he will have served his full sentence in early 2023.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 4, 2022.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION