Recently, the murder case involving a Google engineer of Chinese nationality has continued to stir public interest. Sources from the Santa Clara County Department of Correction in California, USA, have informed that the accused, Google engineer Liren Chen, has been transferred from the hospital to jail and is scheduled to appear in court at 12 PM local time on January 22. The public charging document reveals that the Santa Clara County Superior Court is set to hold its latest hearing on this case at 1:35 PM local time on January 24.
On January 20, staff from the Santa Clara County Superior Court in California told reporters that Liren Chen, accused in the ‘murder-suicide’ case, is not deceased and is currently charged with first-degree murder. The staff also confirmed that the incident involving Liren Chen took place in Santa Clara City, Santa Clara County, on January 16, 2024.
On the same day, reporters learned from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office that when police arrested Liren Chen, his wife’s body was found in the house, having sustained severe blunt force trauma to the head. Chen’s right hand was swollen and bruised, with bloodstains on his clothes, legs, arms, and hands, and scratch marks on his arms. The District Attorney’s office announced that Liren Chen is charged with murder. As he was still hospitalized, his arraignment had been postponed once and might be delayed again.
On January 21, the Santa Clara County Department of Correction informed that Liren Chen had been moved from the hospital to jail, with his first court appearance scheduled for 12 PM local time on January 22. The public charging document indicates that the Santa Clara County Superior Court will conduct its latest hearing on the case at 1:35 PM local time on January 24.
Reporters found that under California state law, the criminal case process can include an initial appearance and a preliminary hearing. At the initial appearance, the judge informs the accused of the charges, their constitutional rights, and appoints a lawyer if the accused cannot afford one. In felony cases, if the case is not settled or dismissed after the initial appearance, the judge holds a preliminary hearing to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to charge the accused, thus moving the case forward to further trial.