Latest on last Fall's shooting in Wisconsin


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Legionnaire
June 16, 2005, 01:40 PM
Latest news:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-050610deerhunter,1,2692804.story
http://kstp.com/article/stories/S8622.html?cat=1

Starting new thread due to age of previous ones, which can be found at:
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=112481
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=112800

If you enjoyed reading about "Latest on last Fall's shooting in Wisconsin" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
petrel800
June 16, 2005, 01:42 PM
Can you post the text here. I would prefer not to sign up for another website. TIA.

Legionnaire
June 16, 2005, 01:50 PM
Hunter charged in 6 deaths tells his story

By John McCormick
Tribune staff reporter
Published June 10, 2005, 6:23 PM CDT


The man accused of killing six hunters in Wisconsin's north woods last fall said in a jailhouse interview that he felt remorse for shooting some of his victims, while others "deserved" their fate because they had threatened him and called him racist names.

In an interview with a Chicago Tribune reporter and in subsequent letters to her, Chai Vang describes in detail the events before and after the shooting spree that followed a confrontation over his hunting on private land near Rice Lake, Wis.

The letters and a transcript of the interview were made public this week as part of a court hearing in advance of Vang's Sept. 12 trial on first-degree murder charges. Defense attorneys are seeking to have the communications barred from Vang's trial, while prosecutors want them included as evidence.

Authorities say Vang also made a detailed statement about the shootings to investigators immediately after his arrest.

After a telephone interview, Vang sent two letters in March to Colleen Mastony, a Tribune reporter who was preparing a still-unpublished story about the shooting. Sawyer County sheriff's deputies recorded the telephone interview and copied the letters for prosecutors.

Vang said in one letter that he was trying to "defend myself and my race" when he opened fire on the group of hunters, killing six and wounding two others.

"I feel that this incident is happen because people are not able to [treat] others with respect like they wanted to be treated and hatred toward other people or race," Vang, 36, wrote.

The morning before the shootings, Vang, a package delivery worker from St. Paul, said he awoke in the woods at 5 a.m. after a dream that included an encounter with Vietnamese soldiers in the jungles of Laos.

"So I shot most of them and some escape to get help," he wrote. "Then later, I ran into a lake. There I was surrounded by Vietnam soldier, tank and armor, so they take me as a prisoner."

Vang said the dream almost kept him from hunting that deadly Sunday.

"I almost didn't want to go hunt that day because I never have that kind of dream in my life," he said. "But I thought that it's just another bad dream."

In one of the letters, Vang said he had served in the California National Guard, where he received sharpshooter training. He said he hunted with a semiautomatic rifle because "it's easy to shoot the deer when they start moving and quicker to shoot if you miss it the first time."

Vang told Mastony by phone that during his three seasons of hunting he had only had one other confrontation with his fellow hunters in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He also said that he fired at the other hunters only after first being fired upon, a version of events that contradicts statements from at least one of the surviving hunters.

"I thought I gonna die or something, you know?" Vang said, according to a transcript prepared by the Sawyer County Sheriff's Department. "If I don't defense myself, probably, you know, I probably die."

Vang said he kept shooting as hunters fled because, "I thought he just going [to] run in, get gun, and get help and come after me," he said.

When asked what he thought about the men who died, Vang said not all deserved their fate.

"Well, some of them I say, I feel sorry about it," he said. Some of them I said they deserved [because] they don't know how to talk to me like they should be."

Steve Kohn, a Milwaukee attorney representing Vang, said that all jail inmates are advised that their correspondence is monitored and conversations may be recorded. But he declined to comment on the content of the letters or interview.

"We don't wish to create further press coverage that sensationalizes this matter," he said.

Although a judge in the case has ruled that statements Vang made to sheriff's investigators shortly after the shootings can be used at his trial, a ruling is still needed on whether the letters and interview are admissible.

Kohn said a ruling is also expected in about two weeks on whether jurors will be brought in from another county, a request made by the defense because of pre-trial publicity.

Through a spokesperson, Wisconsin Atty. Gen. Peg Lautenschlager, who is personally prosecuting the case, declined to answer any questions about the letters or interview.

In a biographical letter where he details his journey from Laos to immigrant life in America, Vang said he grew up in Laos and his relatives fought against the North Vietnamese and communist forces. After living in refugee camps in Thailand, he was relocated to St. Paul in June 1980.

After working in trucking jobs in California, he said he moved back to Minnesota in 2000. Vang also said he had been married three times and had seven children.

News reports of the court hearing say six reporters wrote to Vang requesting interviews. But he apparently only responded to Mastony after she told him in a March 1 letter that she had been working on his life story for three months.

"I have interviewed your mother, sister, brother, your ex-wives, several family members, your lawyers and your wife," she wrote. "But no one knows your story like you do. I offer you a chance to tell your side of the story."

After Vang said that he had run out of time on his calling card, the newspaper sent him $100 to cover the cost of stamps and phone cards to communicate with the reporter.

Tribune editors said a date for publication of Mastony's story has not yet been set.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-050610deerhunter,1,2692804.story

Legionnaire
June 16, 2005, 01:56 PM
Hunting rampage suspect back in court this week

By ROBERT IMRIE
Associated Press Writer

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - A Hmong man accused of fatally shooting six deer hunters and wounding two others in northwestern Wisconsin is scheduled to return to court Wednesday for a judge to hear arguments on whether the trial should be moved and whether prosecutors can use admissions he made to police.

The motions hearing is scheduled for three days in Hayward before Sawyer County Circuit Judge Norman Yackel, a step in the process leading to Chai Soua Vang's Sept. 12 trial.

"We are approaching this case like we do every other case," defense attorney Jonathon Smith said. "It is not unusual to file the types of motions filed here, except perhaps the change of venue."

Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, who is prosecuting the case, declined requests to be interviewed before the hearing, spokesman Scott Ross said.

Vang, a 36-year-old truck driver from St. Paul, Minn., has pleaded not guilty to murdering six hunters and wounding two others after a confrontation over trespassing Nov. 21 in some isolated woods in southwest Sawyer County.

According to the criminal complaint, two survivors of the shootings, Terry Willers and Lauren Hesebeck, said Vang fired the first shot after Willers asked him to get out of a tree stand on land owned by Willers and another hunter who was shot.

Vang, a deer hunter since 1992, told authorities the hunters confronted him and used racial slurs and profanity before Willers fired the first shot, the complaint said.

Killed were Robert Crotteau, 42; his son Joey Crotteau, 20; Al Laski, 43; Mark Roidt, 28; Willers' daughter Jessica Willers 27; and Dennis Drew, 55, all of the Rice Lake area.

Vang's admissions to police include that he ran after some of the victims and shot them in the back, the complaint said.

One defense motion to be argued this week asks Yackel to bar prosecutors from using Vang's alleged confessions on grounds that Vang requested an attorney before and during the questioning and was denied one. The circumstances surrounding his statements were coercive and violated his constitutional rights, the defense contends.

In a written response, Lautenschlager told the judge that Vang, who speaks fluent English, was read his Miranda rights twice, he wrote that he wished to speak to investigators and did not want an attorney, and he signed a confession.

The environment was not coercive and Vang's statement was the product of his free will, the attorney general said.

At least one of the issues presented to the judge three months ago was resolved without the hearing.

Vang's attorneys had filed a motion seeking to seal a separate motion of unknown content. But the motion was withdrawn, Smith said, declining to elaborate.

Other motions Yackel will consider:

-A defense request to move the trial from Sawyer County and sequester the jury. Vang contends he cannot receive a fair trial there because of racial prejudice and overwhelming publicity.

Prosecutors argue that Vang's attorneys have not produced sufficient evidence to warrant a change of venue, but if the judge grants the request, the jury should be picked in another county and be brought to Sawyer County for the trial to accommodate the victims' families and the many prosecution witnesses. Sequestering the jury is not necessary, prosecutors say.

-A defense request that one of two counts of attempted murder of Hesebeck be dismissed, contending Vang was charged twice for the same offense. Prosecutors say Vang tried to kill Hesebeck in two separate incidents.

-A prosecution request to limit the number of cameras in the courtroom during the trial and to ban people from taking pictures or videotaping witnesses who do not want to be photographed.

-A prosecution request to ban Vang's attorneys from commenting on a witness' "presence or absence" of a criminal record without first holding a hearing outside the presence of the jury.

-A prosecution request to allow jurors to take written notes during testimony.

Vang, a father of six children, remains in jail on $2.5 million bond. Each of the six counts of first-degree intentional homicide carries a mandatory life prison sentence.

http://kstp.com/article/stories/S8622.html?cat=1

boofus
June 16, 2005, 01:56 PM
Racist names != imminent threat of harm. String him up.

SteveS
June 16, 2005, 03:46 PM
"I feel that this incident is happen because people are not able to [treat] others with respect like they wanted to be treated and hatred toward other people or race," Vang, 36, wrote.

There you go. Apparently, if some one does not treat you the way you want to be treated then you should kill them?!? What a moron.

HankB
June 16, 2005, 04:03 PM
I said they deserved [because] they don't know how to talk to me like they should be.So it's OK to murder people who don't talk to you the way you think they should?

Can you say "dangerous psychopath?"

ReadyontheRight
June 16, 2005, 04:09 PM
"I thought I gonna die or something, you know?" Vang said, according to a transcript prepared by the Sawyer County Sheriff's Department. "If I don't defense myself, probably, you know, I probably die."

Vang said he kept shooting as hunters fled because, "I thought he just going [to] run in, get gun, and get help and come after me," he said.

IIRC from Vang's original story, the first man Vang shot was armed. Vang reversed his blaze orange coat to camo and hid in the woods from others who came out with rifles. He then shot a number of unarmed hunters. Some of them in the back.

He "might" have been "defending himself" with the first victim. He was mowing down people he admitted he knew were unarmed after that.

R.H. Lee
June 16, 2005, 04:10 PM
Sounds like a phony trumped up defense incorporating his lawyer's advice.

Standing Wolf
June 16, 2005, 07:16 PM
Sounds like a phony trumped up defense incorporating his lawyer's advice.

I believe the correct term is "assault lawyer."

cracked butt
June 16, 2005, 07:35 PM
Sounds like a phony trumped up defense incorporating his lawyer's advice

The whole racial issue didn't even come into play until a high priced lawyer got involved.

Self defense? pffft. If the hunter had a bead on him or even had his rifle in a ready position, I doubt vang coul dhave gotten his rifle up in time to make a shot. My guess is that the first 'armed' hunter that was shot dies with his rifle still slung over his shoulder.

Vang is a coward and a mass murderer. If there's any justice in this world, he'll get the Jeffrey Dahmer special treatment when he goes to prison.

Waitone
June 16, 2005, 08:27 PM
Scream "racist" and everything is justified.

Hawkmoon
June 16, 2005, 11:23 PM
It may be an interesting trial. Based on what I have seen reported in "the Media" it looks like a slam dunk for the prosecution. So, with that in mind:

-A defense request that one of two counts of attempted murder of Hesebeck be dismissed, contending Vang was charged twice for the same offense. Prosecutors say Vang tried to kill Hesebeck in two separate incidents.
What is this prosecutor thinking? The guy killed six people and wounded two others, and they want to charge him TWICE for one of those? That's nuts, and wrong. "Two separate incidents" my left foot. The whole sorry sequence was essentially one "incident."

Sheesh. Prosecutors make me physically ill.

nico
June 16, 2005, 11:27 PM
Racist names != imminent threat of harm. String him up.
first thing that came to my mind. Especially since he was trespassing. Give him an appeal-proof trial then find a tall tree and a short rope.

cracked butt
June 16, 2005, 11:38 PM
What is this prosecutor thinking?

The head presecutor in the case is Peg Lautenschlager, our state's AG- a drunk, incompetent, wacky liberal. I'm not sure that she has ever tried a criminal case in her career, at least not in the last 20 years, she does nothing but sign onto the class action lawsuit dujour and goes along for the ride, the most recent was she joined a lawsuit started by another state over the clean air act. She butted into this case because it is a slam dunk case and she needed a serious PR miracle in order that she might even have a smidgen of a chance of keeping her job after the next election.

If they wanted a special presecutor to step in, there are a few very hardnosed and very good DAs in the state, unfortunately, they are conservatives and we can't allow them to take the credit for putting Vang away for 300 years when a 40 year sentence might do for now. :fire:


There's your answer :banghead:

halvey
June 17, 2005, 11:15 AM
Vang told Mastony by phone that during his three seasons of hunting he had only had one other confrontation with his fellow hunters in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In three years of hunting he's had 2 confrontrations? Geeze, everyone I know has never had this happen.

entropy
June 17, 2005, 04:48 PM
Even if they called him every anti-Asian epithet in the book, it does not justify murder. OTOH, I personally have witnessed many illegal acts commited by SE Asians while "hunting"; Trespassing, shooting deer out of season with .22's, shooting at swans, (on a State WMA no less,) shooting at non-game songbirds a scant ten feet over my head :what: , 500+ 3in. long sunnies taken by two fishermen, and group hunting (small game,supposedly) that more closely resembled patrolling the jungle back home than hunting. They are the sole reason I will not hunt public land, even though the fact land is privately owned doesn't stop some of them. Only recently have the MN and WI DNR's done any serious prosecution of them, either. It is unfortunate that a tragedy such as this had to happen before they would. BTW, cracked butt, the fact that Lautenschlager is a liberal may work to the advantage. She may see this as a chance to "stick it to the gun crowd" and give him a nice long (In the multiple lifetime range would be nice) sentence. While I wouldn't agree with why she does it, as long as he never walks as a free man again, that would be fine.

Berg
June 17, 2005, 07:06 PM
So did he use an SKS or a Russian Saiga?

The news reported that he used an SKS but the police report said the rifle was a "Saiga SKS" ??? It also said he "removed the scope" before he fired on the hunters.

svtruth
June 17, 2005, 07:25 PM
As far as I know, even racial epithets are protected by the first.

ckyllo
June 17, 2005, 07:29 PM
So did he use an SKS or a Russian Saiga?

IIRC the police report said russian saiga in 7.62 x 39

Spreadfire Arms
June 17, 2005, 07:40 PM
last time i posted something about this topic on here i got lambasted for not agreeing with most THR's.

i'm about to get it again. i'll reserve my comments to these posts:

"String him up." :uhoh:

"find a tall tree and a short rope" :uhoh:

while these may just be synonyms and not actually condoning a real hanging (i.e. a symbolic 'hanging' not a real one).....encouraging the hanging of a minority, or anyone for that matter, isn't exactly something i'd condone or want to be associated with.

the moderators may want to look at this post and see if those comments are really in the spirit of "the high road."

Mr. Vang deserves his day in court. if you got into a shooting you'd want your day in court too. not a bunch of internet posters speculating on your fate....... :)

also in response to this post:

As far as I know, even racial epithets are protected by the first.

you're 100% correct, but throwing a racial slur at an armed person isn't really a good idea, especially if you are unarmed or not looking to provoke something. The 1st Amendment is of no use to you if you are DEAD.

you are more than welcome to try it out yourself. go find yourself an angry black man wielding a loaded SKS and call him the "N-word" as loud as you can. then see if he points the rifle at you and cracks a round at you. :D

nico
June 17, 2005, 08:48 PM
while these may just be synonyms and not actually condoning a real hanging (i.e. a symbolic 'hanging' not a real one).....encouraging the hanging of a minority, or anyone for that matter, isn't exactly something i'd condone or want to be associated with.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I was proposing a method of execution for after he's convicted. I have no problem with hanging murderers and if done the way I described, it would significantly lower the cost of executions. :neener:

and personally, being a semi-rational person, there isn't any name a person could call me that would make me shoot at them or even point a loaded gun at them and I'd be surprised if the vast majority of gun owners don't agree with me. Are you saying that black people can't think as rationally as non-blacks?

cracked butt
June 18, 2005, 12:47 AM
BTW, cracked butt, the fact that Lautenschlager is a liberal may work to the advantage. She may see this as a chance to "stick it to the gun crowd" and give him a nice long (In the multiple lifetime range would be nice) sentence. While I wouldn't agree with why she does it, as long as he never walks as a free man again, that would be fine.

The Jury is being picked from Dane county, I pretty much expect a circus now.

Stick it to the gun crowd? Vang killed 6 hunters, that almost makes him a hero in Laut's book :banghead:

Spreadfire Arms
June 18, 2005, 12:54 AM
Are you saying that black people can't think as rationally as non-blacks?

not at all. but since the use of a racial slur is involved a minority must be used as an example.

granted the first amendment protects racists and other associated idiots and allows them the right to talk all the garbage they want, and that deadly force is never justified......

the question begs.....how useful is the First Amendment to you if you are dead? it's simple Darwinism at work. call an armed angry minority a racial slur and see if he decides to shoot at you. right or wrong, if you are the victim of a gunshot wound it is quite difficult to defend your First Amendment right from the morgue.

JohnKSa
June 18, 2005, 01:44 AM
not agreeing with most THR'sIsn't "Ou" a Vietnamese name? I'm sure that's just a coincidence... :o

Spreadfire Arms
June 18, 2005, 07:35 AM
JohnKSA wrote:

Isn't "Ou" a Vietnamese name? I'm sure that's just a coincidence...

actually you are incorrect, no i'm not Vietnamese. but i am Asian if that is what you are inferring.

accuse me of being biased because obviously I'm Vietnamese (or Asian), correct? thats like me accusing someone of being racist simply because they are white. :confused:

i am perhaps more understanding of being called a racial slur than someone who is not of minority descent. i did not say his act of shooting people was justified because someone called him a racial slur. i said that you can argue the First Amendment all you want but ultimately if you are dead, murdered or not, the First Amendment serves you no good.

let's see how a board moderator reads this........

THR Posting Rule #4:

"4.) Spamming, trolling, flaming, and personal attacks are prohibited. You can disagree with other members, even vehemently, but it must be done in a well-mannered form. Attack the argument, not the arguer. "

Yooper
June 18, 2005, 09:10 AM
If Vang hadn't been where he was, he would not have heard any racial slurs from the landowners. If a stranger trespasses into my camp, house, yard, etc. I will address him in any way I see fit. I don't think "racial slurs" is any kind of defense or excuse for what happened.

Preacherman
June 18, 2005, 02:05 PM
Folks, I think the "race" element has been sufficiently debated. Some of the comments in this thread might not have been meant negatively, but they come very close to being so in reality, IMHO. Please read our Forum Rules.

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