A former employee of Cal State Fullerton has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing and killing his boss in August 2019.

Chuyen Van Vo, 55, pleaded guilty to the murder of Steven Shek Keung Chan on Aug. 19, 2019.

Chan was a retired administrator of Cal State Fullerton and was working as a consultant for the school when he was attacked by Vo in the parking lot. Vo, who was working for Chan, was waiting for his boss to arrive and proceeded to stab him more than 30 times before fleeing the scene.

He was eventually arrested and charged with murder. At the time of his arrest, police discovered a backpack with a note that apparently detailed Vo’s plan to ambush his boss, as well as a wig, fake beard, zip ties, lighter fluid and a lighter.

Vo worked for CSUF’s Extension and International Program and part of his responsibilities included providing approval for invoices. Prosecutors allege that Vo used a fake tutoring business and submitted fake invoices to the school for reimbursement, approving his own fraudulent paperwork.

Chuyen Vo, left, is seen in a booking photo released Aug. 22, 2019, by the Fullerton Police Department. Detectives believe he’s the man seen in a surveillance image at right fleeing the scene of a killing at Cal State Fullerton on Aug. 19, 2019.
Chuyen Vo is seen in a booking photo released Aug. 22, 2019, by the Fullerton Police Department, alongside a surveillance image that captured him fleeing the scene.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined Vo had stolen more than $200,000 from the school using the falsified documents.

Investigators believe Vo killed Chan because he was closing in on discovering his impropriety, adding that the two men had a conversation about closely reviewing and verifying all invoices in the weeks leading up to Chan’s murder.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer called Chan’s murder “callous and brutal,” saying the former administrator was revered by the university community.

“His contributions will never be forgotten,” Spitzer said in a news release.

Jon Radus, who is the interim chief of the Fullerton Police Department, said the attack on Chan brought fear to the city, particularly for those in the university community.

“I’m grateful to our dedicated team of Investigators who relentlessly pursued this case and ultimately brought Vo to justice in just under 72 hours,” Radus said. “Our thoughts remain with the victim’s family and friends as they continue to process their loss.”

Although initially pleading not guilty, Vo eventually admitted to killing his boss and also pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand theft by embezzlement, and special circumstances related to using a deadly weapon and “lying in wait.”

As part of his plea, Vo was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.