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Verdicts delivered in fatal 2011 JJ Lounge shooting case

Devin Kelly

After two weeks of deliberations, jurors reached a verdict Friday morning on all but one count in the trial for three men involved in a 2011 shooting outside an East Anchorage bar that left two dead and two others injured.

Lee Chee Chang, 28, and Ryan Laulu, 33, were being tried on charges that included first-degree murder in connection with the shootings, which occurred outside JJ's Lounge at 624 Muldoon Road in October 2011. Chang's cousin, Vang Chang, faced charges of third-degree assault after he was accused of pointing a gun at passersby while fleeing the scene. All three men were accused of tampering with evidence.

Police said Chang shot Emilio Ramirez, 35, at point-blank range as Ramirez lay on the pavement of the parking lot outside the bar. Laulu was accused of murdering 28-year-old Ka Meng Chang, Lee Chee Chang's older brother.

Police also said that Chang shot and wounded Ramirez's girlfriend, Trudy Simon, as well as a bystander, Tracy Clark, in the parking lot.

Chang was accused of then giving the murder weapon to Vang Chang, for disposal, and Laulu was accused of throwing his gun out of the car at an intersection near Creekside Elementary School, leading to the tampering with evidence charges.

The jury began deliberating on Feb. 24. A decision was announced at 10:35 a.m. Friday.

Jurors could not reach a verdict on whether to convict Chang of first-degree murder, leading to a mistrial of that count.

The jury did convict Chang of attempted murder for shooting Simon, as well as first-degree assault in the shooting of Clark. He was found not guilty of tampering with evidence.

Laulu was acquitted on first- and second-degree murder charges in the shooting of Ka Meng Cheng after his defense attorneys argued that he acted in self-defense. He was convicted of tampering with evidence.

Vang Chang was convicted of third-degree assault as well as tampering with evidence.

Laulu and Vang Chang both face up to five years in prison. Sentencing has been set for July 11.

The state now has to decide whether to again prosecute Lee Chee Chang on the murder charge, said Clint Campion, deputy district attorney.

Reach Devin Kelly at dkelly@adn.com or 257-4314.


By DEVIN KELLY
dkelly@adn.com