Skip to comments.No Chance for Parole, 6 Life Terms for Vang (His Outrageous Comments!)
Posted on 11/09/2005 1:54:45 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
HAYWARD, WI - A man convicted of murdering six deer hunters and attempting to kill two others after a dispute over trespassing in northwestern Wisconsin was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday with no chance for parole.
Judge Norman Yackel sentenced Chai Soua Vang to the maximum punishment he faced. The judge ordered Vang, 37, to serve six life prison terms, one after the other, guaranteeing he would never be freed from prison.
Vang addressed the victims' families in court Tuesday but did not apologize.
"I understand your anger, your frustration, your grief," said Vang, a father of seven.
He called Tuesday the happiest day of his life, saying he would no longer have to deal with things such as child support and mortgage payments.
"I wish I can change things, but I cannot," he told a packed Sawyer County courtroom.
Bruce Crotteau, a brother to one slain hunter and an uncle to another, called Vang a coward who sentenced the victims' families to a lifetime of horrible memories.
"There is no punishment that Chai Vang can ever receive that will justify what he has taken away," Crotteau said in court.
During the trial, Vang, who is Hmong, testified he shot at the white hunters in self-defense after one angrily shouted profanities at him and used racial slurs, and another fired at him after they found him on their private hunting land south of Hayward on Nov. 21.
But a jury agreed with prosecutors that Vang gunned down the hunters in a rampage. Vang, a truck driver from St. Paul, Minn., was convicted Sept. 16 of six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of attempted homicide.
The homicide charges carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Wisconsin does not have a death penalty.
Yackel, who could have set a parole eligibility date for Vang, described Vang as a "time bomb ready to go off" at the slightest provocation. The judge also sentenced Vang to three concurrent terms of 40 years in prison on the attempted homicide charges.
Vang's attorney, Steve Kohn, said Vang would appeal but declined to elaborate on what grounds.
The murders, on the second day of the gun deer season, rocked the northwoods - four of the victims were shot in the back, two as they tried to run away and two as they rode on an all-terrain vehicle to help. All but one were unarmed.
The slayings also exposed racial tension between the predominantly white northwoods and Hmong people who have immigrated to the Midwest.
During his sentencing hearing, Vang urged people to learn something from the tragedy.
"My life is over. But all of you out there have your life, and your journey continues. I hope all of you learn something from this tragedy, treat one another better," Vang said.
Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager sought the maximum sentence for Vang, arguing Vang would kill again unless he was locked up for the rest of his life, given his "explosive temperament" and lack of true remorse or regret.
"The victims in this case, excuse me, have gone through hell and back," Lautenschlager said Tuesday. "Today is the day that hopefully life in the northwoods gets back to normal."
One victim's daughter, Heather Drew Kretz, showed a photo of her father Denny Drew that was taken on her wedding day in June 2004. She said in court the slayings left her with feelings of emptiness.
"There truly aren't words to show how I loved my dad," Kretz said.
According to trial testimony, Vang said he got lost, went into a tree stand on the private land and was asked by another hunter, Terry Willers, to leave. Vang said he apologized and started walking away.
Other companions of Willers arrived, and there was an angry verbal confrontation and threats to report Vang to game wardens for trespassing.
Vang testified the white hunters used racial slurs and profanity before Willers fired the first shot as Vang walked away.
Willers and the other wounded hunter, Lauren Hesebeck, said no one in their group pointed a gun at Vang before he opened fire.
Willers and Hesebeck indicated only one shot was fired at Vang - by Hesebeck, who was already wounded, as some of his friends lay mortally wounded on the ground.
Vang was convicted of killing Robert Crotteau, his son Joey Crotteau, Drew, Allan Laski, Jessica Willers and Mark Roidt, all from the Rice Lake area. All were relatives and friends who gathered to hunt from the Crotteaus' cabin near Exeland.
He merits a cigarette and a blindfold.
Too bad he gets to live out his natural life.
In Europe, he'd be given 20 years.
Talk about seeing a silver lining in a dark cloud. Wait till someone in prison decides to be his butt buddy, wonder if he'll feel the same way.
No death penalty. What a shame.
"Too bad he gets to live out his natural life."
I know. On the dime of his victim's taxpaying families, too. Hardly seems fair.
But, Wisconsin inmates have a way of "Dahmerizing" situations like this. Hope he's sentenced to a Wisconsin prison; I'd hate to have to write letters to out of state prisoners. ;)
Vang's attorney, Steve Kohn, said Vang would appeal but declined to elaborate on what grounds.On the grounds that it's a tough job clogging the courts with frivolous appeals, but somebody's gotta do it.
Hunting rifle: $300
Mortgage Payment: :$800
Child Support: $1000
Bubba the cellmate: PRICELESS!!!!
He's a hothead and a jackass. His life term will be short.
I was going to mention the same thing.
When I heard Dahmer and the Anderson guy (I think- the guy murdered his wife and then blamed it on black kids) were both killed (at the time the two most infamous murderers in WI) not one of us in high school were surprised. Hell even Dahmer knew he wasn't going to leave that prison due to "natural causes."
In Europe, the Hunters would get 20 years for daring to defend themselves with a firearm...
nah, in europe they'd want to understand his anger and frustration, then they'd increase whatever benefits he was receiving by 50% with a promise that he will get his own deer stand at no charge as a state apology for him getting lost in the first place..(sarc/off)
While I tend to agree with this statement I strongly suspect Mr. Vang will meet an early end in prison and, until he does, will wish he had been executed immediately - At least I hope it works out this way.
I think and hope this smug jerg will get shanked in prison inside of 2 or 3 years.
He got shanked. All things considered, it sounds pretty natural to me.
Correction I was in college - WAY too much partying back then.
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