Bail set at $1 million in bar stool beating death

A Pierce County Superior Court commissioner on Monday ordered a 35-year-old woman jailed in lieu of $1 million bail while detectives investigate her alleged involvement in the beating death of her mother.

Xing M. Zhu made a preliminary appearance in Superior Court. Sheriff’s deputies arrested her Saturday night for investigation of first-degree murder in the death of Yu Sang Li, 59.

Investigators say Li was beaten to death with a bar stool Saturday in her daughter’s home in the 12100 block of 168th Street East in the South Hill area. Investigators said Li lived elsewhere and recently had come to Washington to check on her daughter.

Prosecutors have yet to charge Zhu, but Commissioner Patrick Oishi found probable cause to hold her. He gave prosecutors until Wednesday to file charges. Otherwise, Zhu will be released.

Deputy prosecutor Phil Sorensen said outside court that detectives need more time to make their case. Zhu and some other witnesses do not speak English well, which is complicating matters, Sorensen said.

A Cantonese language interpreter was in court Monday to help Zhu understand the proceedings.