Flushing woman arraigned on murder charge in fatal stabbing of immigration attorney: DA

A Flushing woman is charged with murder in the fatal stabbing of immigration attorney Jim Li at his law firm Monday. (Courtesy of Jim Li & Associates)

A Flushing woman was charged on Wednesday with murder in the fatal stabbing of a well-known immigration attorney at his law firm earlier this week, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Xiaoning Zhang, 25, of Kissena Boulevard, was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Jerry Ianeece on a complaint charging her with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon.

According to the charges, police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing responded to a 911 call of an assault in progress at 136-56 39th Ave. around noon Monday. In a fourth-floor office, officers discovered attorney Jim Li bleeding from multiple puncture wounds to his neck, shoulders and torso. The 66-year-old immigration lawyer was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center by EMS. He later died as a result of his injuries.

DA Katz said the defendant was still in the victim’s office when police arrived. Zhang’s clothes allegedly were stained with blood, and two knives were recovered at the crime scene, including one found in the woman’s jacket pocket.

“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. “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.”

Judge Iannece ordered the defendant to return to court on March 18. If charged, Zhang faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Li had reportedly survived two years in a Chinese prison after taking part in the 1989 student protests at Tiananmen Square. He sought asylum in the United States in 1993 and started his firm, Jim Li & Associates in 1998, according to the firm’s website.