Distraught that his wife had a rich boyfriend, Chinnawat Vue kissed her on her cheek and lips and then stabbed her to death inside the couple’s east Fresno home in March, a Fresno police detective testified Wednesday.
In all, Xia Vang, 22, was stabbed 101 times in the couple’s bedroom while their crying 3-year-old son watched, Fresno police detective Leonard Cabrera said.
Afterward, Vue grabbed a pillow, cut his neck and laid next to his dead wife, hoping to die next to her during the early hours of March 8, Cabrera testified. When he woke up a few hours later, Vue went into the garage and tried to hang himself with a shirt, the detective said.
When that was unsuccessful, Vue left his home and told family members and friends that he had killed his wife, Cabrera said. He was arrested later that day near Hume Lake by U.S. Forest Service police.
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The detective’s testimony, and that of other police officers, prompted Judge Brian Alvarez to order the 25-year-old Vue to stand trial on a charge of murder.
Xia Vang, 22, was stabbed 101 times in the couple’s bedroom while their crying 3-year-old son watched, a Fresno police detective testified.
During the two-hour hearing, the couple’s marital affairs and its deadly ending was revealed.
The killing happened inside a house on East Norwich Avenue, south of Gettysburg Avenue and just east of Highway 168. Vang’s mother, Ge Her, who lives next door, discovered her daughter’s body shortly before 8 a.m. March 8 inside the couple’s bloody bedroom.
Vue and Vang married in 2009 when she was a minor. She was a Fresno City College student who wanted to become a social worker. But around last September, Vang met someone at the Fresno Center for New Americans, where she was an intern. Her affair with a doctor caused her to change, ignore her family responsibilities and seek a divorce, said attorney Philip Billington, who is defending Vue.
Meantime, Vue worked a night job as a store stocking clerk, getting little sleep because he had to take care of the couple’s three children while his wife was out with her boyfriend, Billington said.
Prosecutor Sally Moreno, however, contended Vue was mean to his wife. Under questioning from Moreno, Fresno police detective Loren Kasten recalled a conversation he had with the victim’s mother.
About a week before the killing, Vang left her husband, but Vue later found her at her mother’s home. Finding her asleep, he grabbed her arm, Kasten testified. When she didn’t want to leave, Vue grabbed her legs and dragged her outside. “The mother said Xia was crying and screaming,” Kasten testified. He forced her into his truck, threatened to beat her if she got out, and then drove her to the mountains, Kasten said.
When he fell asleep in the mountains, Vang escaped, found help, and returned to Fresno, Kasten said.
But under cross examination, Kasten testified that police had no record of any domestic violence between the couple. The likely reason, Kasten said, is that people in the Hmong community like to resolve disputes by talking with elders, not by calling police.
Fresno police had no record of any domestic violence between the couple.
On the night of the killing, Vue didn’t go to work. Two of the couple’s children were with relatives. Only their son was with them.
Cabrera said Vue confessed to killing his wife after he spent two days in the hospital for his self-inflicted neck wounds. Cabrera said Vue gave this account:
Vang had been staying with a relative, but that night she was home.
In the couple’s bedroom, Vue argued with his wife about her affair while they sat on their bed with their son.
Vue wanted to remain married and keep his family together, but his wife insisted on a divorce. Vue got mad and said, “If I can’t have her, no one could have her.” But Vang reportedly told him that he couldn’t kill her because he loved her.
That’s when he went into the kitchen and grabbed two knives – one to kill her, the other to kill himself. He returned to the bedroom and confronted his wife. He kissed her twice and began stabbing her. When she put up her hands to defend herself, he threw her to the ground and slashed her neck.
Detective Alfonso Castillo said Vang was stabbed 61 times on her neck, face, chin and chest. She also had 40 defensive stab wounds to her hands and forearms.
Castillo said the coroner ruled that Vang died from perforations to her carotid arteries and jugular veins. A bloody knife was discovered under her body.