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The 66-year-old farmworker charged with killing seven people at two mushroom farms in Half Moon Bay, California, last year over a $100 repair bill for farm equipment was indicted by a grand jury, authorities said.

Chunli Zha was in court Tuesday to be arraigned on seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder, the Associated Press reported. His arraignment was continued until Feb. 29, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told the media outlet in an email.

Zhao met with his supervisor over the bill and blamed his co-worker for the damage to a forklift that Zhao was driving when it collided with the co-worker’s bulldozer, Wagstaffe previously said. However, the supervisor insisted that Zhao pay the bill.

Zhao then allegedly shot and killed the supervisor, two co-workers and the wife of one of the victims at Terra Garden on Jan. 23, 2023. A fifth co-worker was wounded. He then went to nearby Concord Farms, where he was fired in 2015, and fatally shot three former co-workers, authorities said.

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Zhao pleaded not guilty last February, but the case has dragged on with a preliminary hearing not set until March, and that has now been vacated, Wagstaffe said.

The grand jury indictment supersedes the criminal complaint and bypasses the need for a preliminary hearing, skipping one step in the legal process and advancing the case, he told the AP.

HALF MOON BAY SHOOTING: KILLING OF 7 AT CALIFORNIA FARMS SPARKED OVER $100 REPAIR BILL, DA SAYS

half moon bay shooting

“I know that extensive delays impose a very negative impact on victims’ families, and we try to move cases along when the case seems to be dragging on. That is why we sought to seek the Grand Jury Indictment,” Wagstaffe wrote.

The next step is for Zhao to enter a plea on the grand jury indictment charges at the February hearing, he said.

Chunli Zhao appears for his arraignment

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Zhao reportedly admitted to the shootings during a jailhouse media interview days after the killings and told KNTV-TV that he was bullied and worked long hours on the farms.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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