Man convicted in Seattle's worst mass murder is up for parole

Man convicted in Seattle's worst mass murder is up for parole »Play Video
File photo shows Tony Ng at a court hearing after the 1983 Wah Mee massacre.
SEATTLE - Local families fear that a man in prison for his involvement in Seattle's worst mass murder may soon be free.

More than a dozen people were gunned down 30 years ago in the infamous Wah Mee massacre. One of the men convicted for the crime has been up for parole before - but this time family members of his victims fear time is not on their side.

The year was 1983 when three men stormed into the Wah Mee gambling club in the International District to rob the place. They tied up everyone inside, then shot them all.

Thirteen people died, and only one survived to identify the robbers.

One of those three men, Tony Ng, escaped a murder conviction after claiming he was forced to take part in the killings. On Tuesday he will be up for parole at a hearing at the Stafford Creek Facility in Aberdeen.

At the last parole hearing in 2009, victims' families spoke out.

Doris Wong-Estridge, whose uncle was killed, says, "And what can be more heinous than the slaughter of 13 people?"

Parole was denied at the last hearing. But this time the families fear current members of the Sentence Review Board may not know - or remember - just how savage the crime was.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterburg just sent the board members a more than 100-page letter urging parole be denied. He also explains why this time - the family's voices won't be heard.

"The hearing was a very emotional event, and many of the victim family members were forced to relive this terrible crime and recall the painful first moments of learning that their loved ones had been massacred," he explains.

The letter also details the crime to let board members know the horror of that night in 1983 lives on.

"The pain and anguish resulting from the crime still reverberates throughout the community, especially within the Chinese community," Satterburg wrote.