Crime - Sacto 911

Man sentenced to life in prison for Woodland massage parlor stabbing murder

A Woodland man convicted of the fatal August 2018 stabbing at a massage parlor in Woodland was sentenced to life in prison Thursday, according to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.

On Aug. 21, 2018, Rohail Sarwar requested a massage from masseuse Junying Lu, 51, at the Cottonwood Massage parlor in Woodland. The now-28-year-old man stabbed Lu 14 times and left the parlor. Four of these stab wounds proved to be fatal.

Investigators obtained videos of Sarwar standing outside the parlor, buying a knife from a nearby liquor store, and leaving the parlor with blood on his hands. Prosecutors also showed Sarwar’s fingerprints were on the knife used in the slaying during the 17-day trial in July.

Sarwar was convicted Aug. 1 of first-degree murder with special circumstances including lying in wait, committing a burglary during the murder and an enhancement for using a personal weapon, the knife purchased at the liquor store. Sarwar was also found guilty of sexual assault against a different masseuse at the same parlor about a month before the murder.

Lu’s daughters were emotional during the sentencing with one even lunging at him, according to the Davis Enterprise.

Sarwar was sentenced in Woodland to life without the possibility of parole and an additional six years for the sexual assault, as well as an additional year for the enhancement.

Mack Ervin III is a breaking news reporting intern for The Bee. He studies journalism at Sacramento State, and he loves auto racing and most other sports, as well as video games.