Fighting to leave a clue

Guofang Wang battled desperately for life, and left law enforcement the DNA evidence it needed to bring his killers to justice

Guofang Wang, a 59-year-old South Sacramento man, may have lost the fight for his life, but his ferocity ultimately sealed the fate of his attackers.

This month, Lai Saechao and his nephew David Saechao, were each convicted of first-degree murder with special circumstances for the 2018 slaying of Wang. According to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Wang operated an indoor marijuana grow operation inside his home on Burns Way. On June 24, 2018, Lai and David Saechao broke into Wang’s home with the intention of stealing his harvesting equipment. But Wang was home—and a desperate struggle ensued.

Wang didn’t survive it. Sacramento County sheriff’s detectives determined he was beaten and strangled to death. But they also discovered evidence that Wang had bitten and scratched his assailants. After analyzing blood at the crime scene and scrapings under Wang’s fingernails, DNA showed that the victim had sunk his teeth into David Saecho and clawed at Lai Saechao.

On Dec. 10, a jury convicted uncle and nephew of Wang’s murder. According to the DA’s office, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life without parole. Their sentencing is scheduled for the end of the month.