Documentary on murder of Sihui Fang premieres Wednesday in Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A new documentary is looking at the killing of a woman working at an Albuquerque massage parlor. Police say she was ambushed, shot and killed. Two 18-year-olds were arrested and now face murder charges.

“I Hate Asians” is premiering Wednesday in Albuquerque, and the people behind the film explain why they feel racism is a driver for violence.

“In my case, I’m looking for punishment,” said Rod Honstein.  “I’m really the only person fighting for her. I’m her voice.”

The question of punishment will not be answered in the Guild Cinema on Wednesday, but Rod Honstein’s perspective will be laid out on the big screen.

“The pain in this community is overwhelming,” said Honstein. 

The documentary focuses on the murder of the woman Honstein called his soulmate.

“We spent a lot of time outdoors, we’ve hiked all over northern New Mexico, southern Colorado, Utah, she was a hiker. I was trying to keep up with her,” Honstein said.  

Sihui Fang was killed early 2023. Honstein says they were preparing for an attack.

“Our plan did not include getting into a gunfight,” said Honstein.  

A string of armed robberies at Asian-owned massage parlors had him and Fang on edge.

Honestein says they downloaded an app on Fang’s phone that would secretly call him had she said a secret code word. The only call Honstein got was from the landlord at this strip mall telling him two people had been shot, one was dead.

“Well, I was basically in a state of shock,” Honstein said. 

“God got it wrong this time. The criminal lived, despite being shot four times, and Sihui died,” said Charlie Minn.

Charlie Minn is behind the “I Hate Asians” film that also examines the rise in hate crimes targeting Asians shortly after the time President Trump called COVID-19 the “Kung-flu.”  

Jorge Rivera-Ramirez and Juan Carlos Hernandez are charged with murder, and they are not charged with a hate crime.

Minn says he has no doubt these were targeted attacks.

“We showed it in the movie videotape of them walking into massage parlors and taking advantage of Asian women who don’t know the language. They would walk in, and the guy would just say, ‘cash, cash, cash,’ because he knew they didn’t understand the language,” said Minn. 

Honstein says the feds told him they wouldn’t take this case as it didn’t meet the standard for a hate crime, but that doesn’t change his view.

“There is no denying she was targeted because she was Asian,” said Honstein. 

Juan Hernandez has a jury trial set for February 2024. Jorge Rivera-Ramirez had a settlement conference that was canceled Tuesday. His next court appearance is scheduled for next month.

Honstein says he is worried they are working toward a plea deal. 

For more information on tickets and show times, click here.