A Fresno man was convicted Tuesday of shooting his unarmed friend in the back in a domestic violence case.
The jury of eight women and four men deliberated seven hours over two days in Fresno County Superior Court before finding George Xeng Fang guilty of assault with a firearm, being a felon in possession of a gun and shooting at an inhabited dwelling in the shooting of Dao Vang in February.
During the trial, prosecutor Andrew Janz contended that Fang shot Vang twice in the back after falsely accusing Vang of hiding Fang’s estranged wife.
Fang, 33, faces a minimum of 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 16 in Judge Jonathan Skiles’ courtroom.
George Xeng Fang, 33, faces a minimum of 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Aug 16 in Jonathan Skiles’ courtroom.
In announcing its verdict, the jury found Fang not guilty of premeditated attempted murder of Vang. Jurors also said he was not guilty of assaulting his uncle, Toua Her, with a deadly weapon and not guilty of trying to dissuade Her from calling police.
In defending Fang, Fresno attorney Amy Guerra told the jury that he has had a complicated life that includes the breakup of his marriage and family and friends who no longer want to help him. Fang cried during Guerra’s closing arguments Monday.
In deliberating Fang’s fate, the jury didn’t know about his long criminal history.
In 2009, Fang pleaded no contest to shooting at an occupied vehicle in exchange for a prison term of five years. Police say he shot at Chua Yang on Nov. 7, 2008. The bullet struck the driver’s door and hit Yang in the leg, but did not penetrate his pants. Yang recognized Fang as a former friend with whom he had a recent falling out after Fang accused Yang of “messing” with Fang’s girlfriend. Fang later admitted to police he fired one shot from a revolver at Yang out of anger and that Yang was unarmed.
After being released from prison, Fang was convicted in 2012 of felony corporal injury on his wife after he accused her of cheating. Police say he was high on methamphetamine when he choked her, slugged her in the face and used scissors to cut off her hair. Fang was sentenced to seven years in prison. In addition, he was slapped with a restraining order that prohibited him from contacting his wife.
He was released from prison in September last year, but soon violated terms of his release and spent time in the Fresno County Jail. Upon his release in December, he began living with his wife in violation of the restraining order, Janz said.
Two months later, Fang’s wife reported to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office that he had again accused her of cheating, punched her and cut off some of her hair. Fresno police arrested him on Feb. 15, but he was soon released from jail when his wife declined to cooperate with authorities.
Soon after his release, Fang went to his uncle’s central Fresno home and began asking questions about his wife. When Her insisted that he did not know her whereabouts, Fang threatened his uncle with a hammer, Janz told the jury.
Her’s friend, Jerry Khang, testified that he saw Fang with the hammer raised over his head. Khang said he grabbed Fang’s arm in mid-swing and stopped Fang from hitting Her. Khang then pushed Fang out of the garage.
Apparently the jury believed Fang, who testified that he saw the hammer on the ground and was just trying to put it away for his uncle.
In deliberating the defendant’s fate, the jury didn’t know about his long criminal history.
According to Janz, in the afternoon of Feb. 21, Fang went to Vang’s southwest Fresno home to look for his estranged wife. Vang knew Fang because Fang’s brother raises chickens on Vang’s property, Janz told the jury.
When Fang could not find his estranged wife, he left Vang’s home but returned later that night.
Fang was alone in his white van when he spoke with Vang on the dirt driveway to Vang’s home, Janz told the jury. Vang testified that Fang was angry about his wife. Vang said he told Fang that he was not hiding her and told him to leave.
Vang testified that as he walked back toward his home, he saw Fang move his van. Standing in the screened-in porch, Vang testified that he couldn’t see Fang but heard him say something like: “I’m sorry, but can you please come out.” He then heard the sound of a gun “being racked.”
Fang fired three shots at Vang. Two bullets hit Vang in the back, Janz told the jury. Fang then left in his van.
Vang was rushed to Community Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery. Police arrested Fang later than night near Shields and Hughes avenues in central Fresno.
Police did not find a gun in Fang’s van, but officers did find a .40-caliber shell casing that was similar to two .40-caliber bullets discovered at Vang’s home, Janz said.
Testing later revealed that Fang had gunshot residue on his hands and in his van, Janz told the jury.