DAKOTA CITY | A South Sioux City man charged with killing his wife waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday and was bound over to district court to face first-degree murder and other charges.

Judge Kurt Rager also denied Bei Sheng Chen's request for a bond reduction, leaving it at $1.25 million rather than reduce it to $500,000 as Chen's lawyer, Todd Lancaster, had requested.

"It's not unreasonable, under the circumstances," Rager said of keeping Chen's bond at the higher amount.

In seeking the bond reduction, Lancaster told Rager that Chen, who moved to Dakota County in 2014, owns a business and is a naturalized citizen, was not a flight risk.

After Chen waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Dakota County Court, Rager bound him over to district court and scheduled an arraignment for Nov. 3. Lancaster said Chen likely would waive his personal appearance for arraignment and enter a written plea of not guilty.

Chen, 41, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree domestic assault and use of a firearm to commit a felony for the Sept. 6 fatal shooting of Mei Huang, 33, near the Law Enforcement Center at 701 W. 29th St. in South Sioux City.

Police officers responding to the sound of two gunshots found Huang lying on the ground with gunshot wounds. Chen was found near her, taken into custody for questioning and later arrested. A firearm was found at the scene. The shooting was based upon a domestic dispute, court documents said.

If found guilty of first-degree murder, Chen would face a sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors also will have the option of seeking the death penalty. The other charges against Chen carry maximum prison sentences of 20-50 years.

A memorial for Huang has been scheduled for 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 1 at the gym in Augustana Lutheran Church at 600 Court St. in Sioux City.

A benefit account has been established at Siouxland Federal Credit Union for her two children under the benefit account "Maddie and Noah."


Court reporter

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