Walter Mencken 8:54 a.m., May 21
Man accused of killing mom may have benefited from sale of her home
Solana Beach home had been valued over $1 million
Bryan C Chang was the owner of a Solana Beach home that sold for $875,000 last August, according to public records. He has been held in custody, accused of killing his mother in that same home, since January 2010.
A reliable source has stated that Bryan Chenhua Chang, 31, was the beneficiary of the sale of the home. His mother, Sherry Chu Chang, 60, had been living in that home for some years before her death, according to published reports.
The home was built in 1978 and located in the 900 block of Santa Florencia. It had been advertised as 3,059 square feet, with 5 bedrooms and 3 baths, and having “panoramic, awe-inspiring views of the lagoon and ocean,” according to a real estate website.
Public tax records show the home was valued at more than $1 million at the time of Sherry Chang’s death, January 25, 2010.
Sherry Chang and her son Bryan had disagreement about his financial support, according to a San Diego County deputy district attorney. Bryan Chang previously had worked in the computer field but had not worked for 18 months prior to his mother’s death, according to attorney Rachel Solov.
The prosecutor said Bryan Chang attempted to use his mother’s credit cards around the same timeframe as her death, but he was unsuccessful because he did not have the correct access PIN.
Sherry Chu Chang was found face-down in a downstairs bathroom of the home, according to authorities. Parts of her body were in plastic bags in the refrigerator, according to a San Diego County medical examiner’s report.
A co-worker had reported Sherry Chu Chang missing when she didn’t show up for work on a Monday morning, and investigators found her body that same morning. Bryan Chang was taken into custody two days later, January 27, 2010, at his apartment in Los Angeles.
It is not clear if Bryan Chang, then 28, was aware that he was named owner of the Solana Beach property at the time his mother was killed.
Sherry Chang had changed the beneficiary on one Allstate life insurance policy to her son Bryan Chang, on April 25, 2003, according to court documents. Sherry Chang named her brother Daniel as second beneficiary on that policy. Other papers suggest the district attorney’s office is investigating at least one other life insurance policy, issued in Newport Beach.
Bryan Chang has been charged with murder for financial gain, a special circumstance which could mean the death penalty or life in prison without parole, if he is found guilty.
Bryan Chang pleads not guilty to all charges, through his retained counsel Kathleen Cannon. Criminal defense attorney Kathleen Cannon had previously been with the county public defender’s office, until November 2011.
Bryan Chang, now 31, is currently held without bail and is next due in court November 13, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.