For Immediate Release - February 29, 2016

NY Man Sentenced to Life in Ipswich Murder


Essex Superior Court Judge David Lowy today imposed the mandatory sentence of life without parole on Cheng Sun, 51, Bronx, NY, who was convicted last week of first degree murder in the stabbing death of Shui Keung “Tony” Woo, 62 on September 27, 2011.

Judge Lowy also adopted the Commonwealth’s recommendation of 40 to 60 years for Stealing By Confinement, and 18 to 20 years for Assault to Rob a Person over 60 Years Old to be served concurrently with the life sentence.

In her sentencing argument, Essex Assistant District Attorney Kristen Buxton, told the court that her recommendation for the concurrent sentences for Stealing by Confinement and Assault to Rob a Person over 60 were academic given the mandatory life in prison.  However, she argued that this crime was so vicious, gratuitous, and calculated that it merited a lengthy sentence. 

“It is hard to imagine a more egregious crime than this one.  There was no jealousy or rage.  It was just cold calculation and, in the end, for nothing,” ADA Buxton said.  “This has had a devastating impact not just on Mr. Woo’s family, but on the community of Ipswich where Mr. Woo was widely beloved.”

“Mr. Woo’s life was taken from him with such callous depravity, just as he was to beginning to enjoy the fruits of his lifetime of hard work and devotion to his family and community,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.  “No amount of prison time can compensate for that loss, however, I hope Mr. Woo’s family can draw some comfort knowing that that this defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison.”

"Tony Woo was a well-liked member of this community and his murder shattered our sense of peace," said Ipswich Police Chief Paul Nikas.  "I commend the hard work of everyone involved in bringing this man to justice."

Essex Assistant District Attorney Philip Mallard second seated ADA Buxton and was instrumental in introducing the technical evidence at trial.  Massachusetts State Police Detective Lts. Steve McDonald and Norman Zuk, MSP Trooper Anthony Schena, Ipswich Police Detective Peter Dzaidose led the investigation.  Essex Victim Witness Services Chief Maureen Wilson Leal served as the victim advocate.

Mr. Sun’s co-defendant, Sifa Lee, 38, of Quincy is scheduled for trial on March 8th.  There is a status hearing on that case on Wednesday, March 2nd at noon.  The two men were originally scheduled to be tried together, but a shortage of Chinese language interpreters forced the cases to be severed.

Mr. Sun was represented by Attorney Michael Phelan.