Top News Stories! Classic Motives!
Posted: Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 4:26 AM - Updated: Friday, March 9, 03:27 PM PST
Kenneth Konias Jr. (pictured above, left) shot 31-year-old Michael Haines (pictured above, right)
Police said Kenneth Konias' relatives found $24,000 stashed at his great-grandmother's grave site Wednesday and another $200,000 in his parent's home. Konias reportedly called his mother after the heist and told her she should "go see grandma."
Authorities have now recovered about $224,000, including the money stashed at the grave site, that was apparently left behind by an armored car driver wanted for allegedly killing his colleague and taking off with $2.3 million.
Posted: Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 4:26 AM - Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 10:10 AM PST
PITTSBURGH, PA — Police say there’s no indication the Pittsburgh armored car guard wanted in the fatal shooting of his partner and theft of $2.3 million has left the country. Pittsburgh police Commander Thomas Stangrecki says it doesn’t appear that 22-year-old Kenneth Konias Jr. (pictured above, left) has crossed and borders or departed from any airport since killing his partner last week and leaving him in the cargo area of the idling truck. Investigators say Konias shot 31-year-old Michael Haines (pictured above, right) in the back of the head inside a Garda Cash Logistics truck as it was parked under a Pittsburgh bridge. Authorities say Konias called friends and family after the killing, including one person he asked about extradition laws in Canada and Mexico.
Slumped over with a gunshot wound to the back of the head, Haines' body was found in the idling armored truck two hours after police believe Konias shot him to death. At least $2.3 million was missing from the truck. "He had at least a two-hour head start from the time he left work until the time Mr. Haines was discovered," Commander Stangrecki of the Pittsburgh Police Department said. "We're not sure if he's in the state." "We've had some tips come in and we are still are continuing our investigation," he said. "But right now we have not located Mr. Konias."
Kenneth Konias Jr. remains at large, is in possession of at least three handguns, and is believed to be within the United States, said Commander Stangrecki. The FBI is assisting the Pittsburgh Police Department in the search for Konias, Stangrecki said. FBI Special Agent Robert Ambrosini says investigators are getting tips from “various cities.”
Ho Hang Himself!
February 3, 2011
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- A Florida Atlantic University police officer accused of shooting a 29-year-old woman in her Boynton Beach apartment tried to kill himself in jail. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokesman Eric Davis told media sources that Jimmy Dac Ho tried to hang himself Thursday morning. Ho was taken to Wellington Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition.
Police were called to the Marina Village condominium complex on Casaloma Boulevard shortly after 7 p.m. Monday after a friend said she hadn't heard from Sheri Carter in some time. When officers arrived, they found Carter had been shot. Boynton Beach police said Ho (pictured above, left) shot Sherri Carter once in her stomach and once in her neck. Police said Ho told them he thought Carter was reaching for a knife, so he handcuffed her and shot her during a struggle. Carter was taken to Delray Medical Center, where she remained Wednesday. According to the arrest report, Carter was a private escort and Ho was her client. Ho's attorney said his client was only defending himself. "Just from reading the police report, it's a self defense case and there's nothing to dispute what his allegations are," Ho's attorney said. Ho was placed on administrative leave Tuesday and resigned later in the day.
No Bail: Ho's Girl Shot!
February 2, 2011
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A former Florida Atlantic University police officer accused of shooting a 29-year-old woman in her Boynton Beach apartment Monday night is being held without bond at the Palm Beach County Jail. Jimmy Dac Ho appeared before a judge Wednesday morning. Ho was ordered not to have any contact with the victim or the victim's family, as well as undergo a mental evaluation.
Police said a Florida Atlantic University police officer was arrested Tuesday in connection with the shooting of a 29-year-old woman at her Boynton Beach apartment. Boynton Beach police were called to the Marina Village condominium complex on Casaloma Boulevard shortly after 7 p.m. Monday after a friend said she hadn't heard from the woman in some time. When officers arrived, they found the woman in her bedroom with gunshot wounds to her neck and abdomen. The woman, later identified as Sheri Carter, was taken to Delray Medical Center. Hospital officials told media sources that Carter was paralyzed in the lower half of her body.
Police said the shooter was identified as Jimmy Dac Ho. According to the arrest report, Ho claimed Carter was a private escort and that he went to her home to have sex with her. Police said Ho claimed he shot her in self-defense because he was worried she was going to rob him. FAU Deputy Police Chief Keith Totten said Ho has had past issues in his personnel file, "but nothing that would rise to this level." Totten said the news of Ho's arrest was surprising and disappointing. "It hurts all law enforcement," Totten said. Ho resigned late Tuesday afternoon. Totten said Ho had been an FAU police officer since June 2006.
Domestic Homicide Threats!
February 3, 2011
Longwood, FL -- A Longwood cop accused of domestic violence had threatened to kill his wife, a male friend whom he accused of stealing her away then himself, police said. Kimberly Zeh, who is also a Longwood police officer, told authorities her estranged husband, Cpl. John Zeh, showed up at a friend's Longwood home in his agency car while wearing his police uniform. He barged inside the house and placed his agency weapon to head of his wife's male friend - threatening to kill them and then commit suicide. Longwood police arrested 42-year-old John Zeh just before midnight Tuesday, Longwood police Chief Troy K. Hickson said.
Zeh (pictured left) faces charges of armed burglary of a dwelling, domestic battery, battery, two counts of false imprisonment and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He has been suspended without pay pending the completion of criminal proceedings, Hickson said. The incident involving Zeh and his estranged wife occurred Saturday, but Hickson said it was not reported until Monday.
Police reports show his wife had moved out of their Fern Park home Jan. 12, 2011. She then moved in with a friend in Longwood, according to the arrest affidavit. Kimberly Zeh and her male friend who was visiting, Bennett Feld, were at that house when her estranged husband confronted them, according to his arrest report. He threatened to fatally shoot Feld and then struck him twice on the head, a report shows. Zeh demanded that his wife return home with him. When she refused, Jon Zeh took her purse and badge then drove away, the report shows. Officers said John Zeh later returned his wife's badge.
Hickson said as soon as he was informed of the incident Monday evening he assembled a team of investigators and they developed probable cause to arrest Zeh. Zeh's personnel file indicates no problems in the past, Hickson said. "We were totally surprised," he said. Zeh was being held at the John Polk Correctional Facility without bail. The Seminole-Brevard State Attorney's Office will determine if formal charges will be filed. Once the criminal case if over, an internal investigation will begin and the outcome of that will determine John Zeh's future, Hickson said.
December 10, 2010
Tyrone Wiggins, the former Philadelphia cop on trial for allegedly raping a girl over an eight-year period, yesterday denied the charge and insisted that all he ever was to the young woman was a mentor, godfather and karate instructor. "I never touched [the victim] in any way," Wiggins, 51, said during the second and final day of testifying on his own behalf in Common Pleas Court. Under questioning from his attorney, Scott P. Sigman, Wiggins sought to cast the victim - now a 25-year-old Philadelphia cop - as an ingrate bent on revenge. Wiggins said he met the woman in 1995 when she was 10 years old and joined the karate class he taught at the Olney Recreation Center. Wiggins said the woman made up the rape story only when her application to become a police officer was put on hold in January 2006, after he told department officials that she had once sold drugs. The woman testified that she had never sold drugs.
Wiggins (pictured above, left) said that he told her to stop selling cocaine and other drugs in 2003 and that he even made an audio tape of him lecturing her about the dangers of drug dealing. When the woman decided to apply to the Police Department in 2005, he said, he served as a reference, but also told her to tell the truth about her past. Wiggins said that after she told him that she had lied during her first meeting with recruitment officials in December 2005, he decided to give the officials the audio tape and a memo concerning the woman's alleged drug past. In January 2006, Wiggins said, he met with a detective at the department's recruitment and background office and played the audio tape. The woman made her first threat to ruin him outside the office that day, he said.
"When [she] and I got outside, she got so upset and started crying," he recalled. "She said, 'You know I wanted to be a police officer. I wanted to be just like you.' "She said, 'You messed up my career and I'm going to mess up yours.' " A week later, Wiggins said, an officer came to the home on Chew Avenue near Front Street that he shares with his wife and four children to deliver a protection- from-abuse order filed by the woman. "I fell apart because I had to give up my gun," said Wiggins, who remained on desk duty until August 2007. "Nothing like that had ever happened to me." The protection-from-abuse order did not mention any allegations of rape or other sexual offenses, he told the jury.
After 23 years and eight months on the force, Wiggins resigned in November 2009 because, he said, he was about to be put back on desk duty because of the allegations. The next day, he was arrested and charged with rape, after a two-year Internal Affairs investigation.
See: Cops that Sexually Offend! - Part XXII
Posted: 2:57 am MDT September 21, 2010
Updated: 10:19 am MDT September 21, 2010
EL PASO, Texas -- The FBI has identified the gunman who opened fired at a Fort Bliss convenience store before being killed by responding officers as a retired Army sergeant. The agency also said one of the two women wounded in the shooting has died. FBI officials identified the gunman as retired Army Sgt. Steven Kropf 63, of El Paso. Kropf entered the Shopette Convenience Store located at 1333 Casssidy Road Monday around 3 p.m. and shot two female civilian employees, said FBI officials. One of the victims who has died was identified as 44-year-old Bettina Maria Goins of El Paso, Texas. The name of the other victim has not been released due to privacy concerns, said FBI officials.
"There were reports of several shots fired at one of our local Shopettes," said Col. Joseph Simonelli during a press conference at the post Monday afternoon. Sources said Kropf walked into the store and shot both female employees in the head. The retired Army sergeant was shot and killed by a Department of Army Law Enforcement Guard, said Simonelli. Goins and the other unidentified victim were taken to William Beaumont Army Medical Center.
Military police continued to block off the small grocery store and gas station late Monday into Tuesday. "It will remain blocked off as long as the FBI tells us they need the crime scene blocked off," said Simonelli. FBI officials said the this incident was an isolated act. Officials do not know whether Kropf had any relationship with either of his victims. The motive for the shooting is still under investigation.
Fort Bliss officials are set to hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m.
September 20, 2010
ROSEVILLE, Calif. -- Former California Highway Patrol Officer Ruben Salgado's defense attorney said Thursday he's likely to ask that Salgado's trial be moved from Placer County. The announcement came after Salgado (pictured left) waived his preliminary hearing, sending the case straight to trial. Salgago, 37, was arrested in May on charges of using methamphetamine, then rearrested in July on charges of trying to hire a hit man to a kill a witness preparing to testify against him in the drug case.
Salgado's Defense attorney had filed a motion to have the public barred from Thursday's preliminary hearing, arguing that extensive media coverage would taint the jury pool. That motion was denied. "We waived the prelim because the judge ruled that he was not going to close the courtroom. And we feel that it's more important that 12 people hear the whole story than that everyone hear just half of it," the attorney said. Salgado's formal arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 28, 2010.
"My reaction is that we have an arraignment on Sept. 28 and we'll probably set trial dates on that date," Prosecutor Doug Van Breeman said.
August 25, 2010
PLACER COUNTY, Calif. -- A former California Highway Patrol officer accused of murder-for-hire solicitation and drug charges is facing a preliminary hearing today. Ruben Salgado is in a Placer County courtroom for the hearing, in which the prosecution will present evidence and witnesses in an effort to prove to a judge that the case should proceed to trial.
Judge James D. Garbolino is presiding over the hearing. Salgado (pictured left) was arrested in May on suspicion of drug charges. He was arrested again in July on suspicion of plotting to have an informant killed. The intended victim, who allegedly sold drugs to Ruben Salgado, has only been identified as as R.M.
August 20, 2010
ROSEVILLE, Calif. -- A former California Highway Patrol officer accused of murder-for-hire solicitation and drug charges will face a preliminary hearing next week. Ruben Salgado will be in court on Wednesday for the hearing, in which the prosecution will present evidence and witnesses in an effort to prove to a judge that the case should proceed to trial. Judge James D. Garbolino is set to preside over the hearing.
Salgado, who appeared in a Roseville courtroom on Friday, was arrested in May on suspicion of drug charges. He was arrested again in July on suspicion of plotting to have an informant killed. The intended victim, who allegedly sold drugs to Ruben Salgado, has only been identified as as R.M.
Meanwhile, Alfredo Salgado said he flew in from Denver, Colo., to talk with his brother to "find out what happened." "He's innocent until proven guilty, right?" brother Alfredo Salgado said outside court Friday. "I hope everything's going to be all right."
July 28, 2010
AUBURN, Calif. -- A former California Highway Patrol officer allegedly offered someone $10,000 to kill an informant expected to testify against him in a drug case, according to court documents filed by Placer County prosecutors. Ruben Salgado wanted to have an informant who sold him drugs killed, Deputy District Attorney Douglas Van Breemen said. The intended victim is only listed as R.M. According to a brief filed by the district attorney's office, R.M. is a confidential female informant who told the CHP that she was aware Salgado was "looking to take her out of the game" to prevent her from testifying in the drug case. The brief alleges Salgado met with another person, also an informant, and offered that person $10,000 to kill R.M. Salgado and the informant also talked about what to do with the body, according to the brief.
The alleged solicitation for murder-for-hire took place at a hotel in Sacramento. However, a judge said Friday that the prosecution would remain in Placer County because R.M. is a Placer County resident and the underlying drug case is also being prosecuted in Placer County.
"This judge says it belongs here. We will have a preliminary hearing. Again, they can make the same determination at that point. That judge could dismiss it for the same reasons that we're looking at today. I expect it will be a different judge, but we're going to fight it out here in Placer for now," Salgado's defense attorney said.
Salgado, a Rocklin resident, pleaded not guilty to the murder-for-hire charge. He also faces felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor drug counts. Salgado is being held without bail in jail in Placer County. The former CHP officer is scheduled to be back in court on Aug. 10, 2010 in Auburn for both the murder-for-hire charge and drug charges.
July 28, 2010
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A former California Highway Patrol officer accused of a murder-for-hire solicitation was trying to have an informant killed, a prosecutor said Wednesday. Meanwhile, Ruben Salgado's girlfriend said he is a good person and is being unfairly targeted by the CHP. Earlier in the day, Breaonna Nunes defended Salgado after she appeared in Superior Court in Sacramento to face drug-related charges. "I think that they just have it out for him," Nunes said. "He's not ... what they paint him to be -- not even close. He's a good guy." Arraignment of Nunes was continued to Aug. 4, 2010 to give her time to get an attorney.
Salgado wanted to see an informant who sold him drugs killed, Deputy District Attorney Douglas Van Breemen said. The intended victim is only listed as R.M. Salgado is set to next appear in court on Friday. Salgado, a Rocklin resident, also faces felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor drug counts. He is being held without bail in jail in Placer County. Salgado is accused of soliciting murder-for-hire at the Governors Inn Hotel at 210 Richards Blvd. in Sacramento.
That location prompted Salgado's lawyer to ask that the charges be dismissed. "We've filed what's called a demurrer, which challenges the authority of the Superior Court of Placer County to even hear this case whatsoever. Because according to the discovery we've received, everything else happened outside the county of Placer," the attorney said. The attorney said he's not sure if separate charges are pending in Sacramento.
The district attorney's office wouldn't comment, but Salgado's attorney said his client is entitled to be released immediately on bail if the judge agrees to dismiss those murder-for-hire charges locally. A decision on the issue is due Friday.
September 18, 2010
Ex Police Officer Chancy Jones received nearly the maximum for killing Phyllis Malone during an early-morning rendezvous two years ago at a Shell gas station at 1709 Whitten Road, near Interstate 40. He was an officer at the time.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - If there really was a river called "denial," then convicted murderer Chancy Jones has his oars still deeply planted in it. "I felt threatened by her," said Jones. "She had threatened me and I told the police that. And she was threatening my family at the time of that incident. I just reacted to what she had done."
"You're still blaming her. She was revving her engine. You were in fear of your life? It's still her fault?" countered Shelby County Assistant Prosecutor Missy Branham." "Yes, ma'am," Jones replied.
It's been three months since the former Memphis police officer was convicted on a second degree murder charge in the execution-style shooting death of his former girlfriend Phyllis Malone in September 2008. On Friday, it was left to Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Mark Ward to pass sentence on Jones who faced a maximum of 25 years in prison. With family members of both the victim and the convicted on separate sides of the courtroom aisle, Malone's sisters took the stand to express what would be the recurring theme throughout the 80 minute long proceedings.
"As our family grieves for our loss we have yet to see any sign of remorse or grief from Mr. Jones," stated Malone's sister Ophelia Harris. "His senseless act towards my sister has left us all scarred and changed forever."
Judge Ward acknowledged he had received and read more than two dozen letters from Jones' family and friends asking him to show leniency in declaring a sentence. Yet, Ward seemed to follow the same train of thought as the jury did in June when they convicted Jones in deliberations that took only 70 minutes. If Jones was justified in shooting Malone, why did he make every effort to obstruct justice by destroying evidence linking him to the scene? "I've got a Memphis Police officer who's trained in the law. Who basically manufactured a claim of self-defense and continues to claim that," Judge Ward stated. Ward would go on to slap Jones with a 24 year prison sentence without parole.
For Malone's family, it was a bittersweet outcome.
"He didn't care whether she was dead or not. He just did what he did to cover up his tracks," Harris said. "He could've handled it a different way. He could have handled it better than what he did." And Chancy Jones should have found a better way to say, "I'm sorry."
Chu Vue! Brothers-in-Arms!
August 4, 2011
Security at the Sacramento trial of two brothers accused of murdering a state prison officer will be increased after a pretrial hearing revealed the brothers had tried to pass shanks concealed in a chocolate frosting-covered cake through the downtown jail where they are being held. Sacramento media sources reported that sheriff's Sgt. Dan Morrisey testified at a Tuesday security hearing that Chong Vue had the yellow cake in his cell and asked a deputy to take it to his younger brother, Gary, who was held in another section of the jail.
"When they opened that cake up, there were several metal pieces," Morrisey said told the paper, adding that the pieces were from a cookie sheet that was missing from the kitchen. Chong Vue's (pictured left) cell was then searched, as well as other cells in the jail, Morrisey said. Twenty-four "different pieces of metal" were found that "were in the process of being moved and turned into shanks," he said.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Eric Kindall said the incident "sounds like something right out of the movies." The testimony from Morrisey and another jail deputy prompted Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White to increase security on the brothers, whose trial began Wednesday with jury selection. The Vues will be chained at the waist and ankle during the trial, though the chains will be covered so jurors can't see or hear them. The brothers can also be strip-searched each day before entering the court room to make sure they have no weapons, White said. Officials had also requested that the defendants be handcuffed, but White tentatively decided that each brother be allowed to keep one hand free to write.
Chong Vue, 32, and Gary Vue, 31 (pictured left) are accused of shooting and killing Steve Lo, 39, at his Sacramento home in October 2008, just as Lo was leaving for his job as a state correction officer at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. Prosecutors said the two were carrying out a hit taken out by their older brother, Chue Vue, 46, a former Sacramento sheriff's deputy. Chue Vue had discovered his wife was having an affair with Lo and retained his brothers to kill him, prosecutors say.
Chue Vue has already been convicted for arranging the murder of Lo. He is currently serving a sentence of life without parole. The younger Vues, Chong and Gary, have previously been convicted of a gang murder in Minnesota. If they are convicted again in the Lo killing, they too will face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
September 29, 2010
SACRAMENTO, CA - A jury has found former Sacramento County sheriff's deputy Chu Vue guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of a state correctional officer who was involved in a love triangle with Vue's wife. The jury announced its decision Wednesday morning, and Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White set Oct. 29 for sentencing. Vue, 45, was accused of arranging the 2008 murder of state correctional officer Steve Lo, 39.
The jury deliberated for four days before reaching its verdict, finding Vue guilty of murder in the first degree with the allegation of lying in wait. Vue spent four days on the stand in his own defense. During questioning, Vue admitted illegally using a law enforcement computer system to find Lo's name and address. But Vue testified he had no motive to arrange Lo's murder, claiming Lo was just one of his wife's many affairs.
Prosecutors say Vue's brothers, Gary Vue and Chong Vue, carried out the hit at Vue's direction, fatally shooting Lo in his south Sacramento garage in October 2008. The brothers were wanted for a murder in Minnesota at the time of Lo's killing. The pair have since been convicted in that case and will go on trial next year as the alleged gunmen in Lo's murder.
Vue was on trial with his cousin and co-defendant, Lang Vue. Prosecutors said Lang Vue helped Vue's brothers hide from authorities before and after Lo's murder. The jury found Lang Vue guilty of the charge of being an accessory to a felony. Lang Vue was acquitted on the murder charges. Lang Vue was ordered to be released on his own recognizance pending sentencing on Oct. 29. His attorney indicated Lang Vue had already served enough time in jail since his arrest to satisfy any sentence that would be imposed.
September 23, 2010
Sacramento, CA - The murder case involving former Sacramento County Deputy Chu Vue is now in the hands of the jury. Closing arguments wrapped up this morning. The trial which has lasted more than a month has involved dozens of witnesses, phone records, bank withdawals and video surveillance. Chu Vue is accused of arranging the murder of correctional officer Steven Lo (pictured left) back in 2008. Both Vue and his relative, Lang Vue, were involved a deadly conspiracy, Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall said.
Prosecutors say Vue orchestrated the murder because his wife was having an affair with Lo. Chu Vue's defense claims his brothers, Gary Vue and Chong Vue, acted alone in the 2008 slaying of Steven Lo. Lo was shot to death in his south Sacramento garage. Prosecutors said in their final rebuttal of the defense that Chu Vue and his co-conspirator, Lang Vue, were like spiders who wove a very complicated web that nobody would be able to detect.
The prosecutor concluded that evidence in the case is irrefutable, citing Chu Vue's ability to get confidential information about Lo and stalking the man. Kindall said Chu Vue failed miserably on the witness stand, responding that he didn't know or didn't remember incidents pertaining to critical questions.
September 21, 2010
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Evidence clearly details how Chu Vue carefully planned the killing of his wife's lover, and how he deserves a first-degree-murder conviction, the prosecution said Tuesday during closing arguments in Vue's trial. Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall told the jury that there are many circumstantial threads that create a rope of evidence tying Vue, a former Sacramento County sheriff's deputy, to the slaying of Steven Lo, who was ambushed and shot to death in his south Sacramento garage.
Kindall said the key question for the jury is whether Chu Vue aided and abetted in Lo's killing. If yes, Kindall said, then Vue and Vue's cousin and co-defendant, Lang Vue, are just as guilty as Gary Vue and Chong Vue, who are accused of being the actual trigger men.
Prosecutors claim Chu Vue was driven by revenge when setting up Lo's killing, which occurred in October 2008. Authorities said Lo had an affair with Chu Vue's wife, Chia Vue.
The prosecution was expected to wrap up arguments on Tuesday afternoon. The defense will then make its closing arguments.
September 16, 2010
The defense rested today in the murder trial of Sacramento Sheriff Deputy Chu Vue, setting the stage for closing arguments that Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White scheduled for Tuesday. Vue's Defense attorney concluded his case by calling two prison employees from the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. The employees testified that they had sex with Vue's wife in the year after the Oct. 15, 2008, shooting death of their fellow correctional officer Steve Lo. Vue's attorney had said earlier in the trial that the testimony was necessary to undercut suggestions that Vue still loved his wife and wanted to maintain his relationship with her even after he was arrested and charged with murder in Lo's death.
Prosecutors say that he arranged the killing in anger over his wife's affair with Lo and that he was obsessed with her, even through his testimony that concluded on Wednesday. The defense maintained in trial that Vue (pictured left) had moved on from the relationship and that her affairs did not motivate him to kill anybody. Vue, 45, is on trial with fellow Hmong clan member Lang Vue, 27, who is accused of renting motel rooms and cars and then buying a sports utility vehicle that the suspected gunmen drove the night of the killing and then used to drive home to Minnesota afterward.
The accused gunmen are Chu Vue's younger brothers, Gary Vue, 29, and Chong Vue, 31. The two were wanted for a 2001 murder in Minnesota at the time of Steve Lo's death. They have since been convicted in the Minnesota case and are scheduled to be tried next year in the Lo shooting.
Published: Thursday, Jun. 3, 2010 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Thursday, Sep. 16, 2010 - 7:49 am
One of the shooting suspects in the love-triangle killing of a state correctional officer appears set to testify for the prosecution next month in the murder trial of his older brother, former Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Chu Vue.
In open court, Assistant Public Defender Matthew Scobel identified Gary Vue on Tuesday as a witness in the trial of the former deputy and another defendant slated for July 21 in Sacramento Superior Court. Gary Vue, 28, already has been convicted of murder in an unrelated 2001 killing in Minneapolis. He was named along with another Vue brother, Chong Vue, 30, in a criminal complaint filed April 16 with having "personally discharged firearms, to wit, two hand guns," in the shooting death of Steve Lo.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White, Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall and Chu Vue's lawyer, Donald Masuda, as well as Scobel, all referred throughout Tuesday's pretrial hearing to a mysterious "Witness A" who is slated to testify in the upcoming trial. Scobel, who is representing co-defendant Lang Vue, let it slip in court that Gary Vue was "the witness in question."
The judge and the lawyers also said in court that "Witness A" has provided a confidential statement in the case. White said from the bench that the statement is in the district attorney's possession, which strongly suggests that Gary Vue's testimony would be for the prosecution and against his older brother. White had previously ordered that the statement be sealed.
According to a stipulation filed in the case, Gary Vue has a history of making admissions about his involvement in murder cases. The stipulation in the court file said that a Sacramento sheriff's detective is prepared to testify in the current case that in 2006 Gary Vue admitted his role in the 2001 murder in Minnesota.
A Hennepin County Court jury on Dec. 10, 2009 convicted Gary Vue of murder for being the triggerman in a gang-related drive-by shooting. A judge sentenced him to life in prison with a chance of parole after 31 years. Chong Vue later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for being the wheelman in the killing. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
None of the attorneys was available to comment after Tuesday's hearing because Judge White imposed a gag order through the end of the trial. The order came at the request of Kindall, the prosecutor, who also sought and obtained an order from White to seal all the pretrial motions as well as his trial brief in the case. Neither defense lawyer opposed the request for the gag order.
Chu Vue, 45, is accused of setting up the early-morning Oct. 15, 2008, shooting death of the 39-year-old Lo in the correctional officer's south Sacramento garage as the victim was getting ready to go to work. Testimony at a preliminary hearing last September showed Lo was having an affair with Vue's wife.
Police and prosecutors say it was the two younger Vue brothers who actually carried out the shooting. They are being tried separately and are scheduled for a July 2, 2010 preliminary hearing in front of White.
Lang Vue, 27, has been charged with murder on grounds that he aided and abetted the Lo killing by renting a motel room for Gary and Chong Vue and buying them a car they used to drive back to Minnesota after the shooting. Both of the younger Vue brothers were fugitives from the 2001 Minnesota killing at the time Lang Vue is accused of putting them up in the motel.
Archive - Vue Video!
October 27, 2008
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010 - 12:00 am |
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 17, 2010 - 7:48 am
Sacramento prosecutors have obtained their first conviction in the October 2008 shooting death of a California correctional officer in the garage of his south area home. Allyssa Vue, 37, (pictured left) the sister of former sheriff's deputy Chu Vue, who is the principal defendant in the slaying of Steve Lo, pleaded no contest Friday to acting as an accessory in the case. She was sentenced to 90 days on the sheriff's work project and five years of probation, according to Sacramento Superior Court records. The judge ordered her to appear in court on the first day of Chu Vue's trial.
Allyssa Vue waived her appellate rights and also agreed that she would not assert her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination if she is called as a witness in her 45-year-old brother's trial that is set for March 30, according to the terms of the plea that were approved by Judge Marjorie Koller.
According to police and prosecutors, Allyssa Vue rented a motel room for two other brothers who are charged in the case with carrying out the Oct. 15, 2008, shooting of Lo. One of those brothers, Chong Vue, in another recent development in the case, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while committing a July 10, 2001, drive-by shooting in Minneapolis, according to Hennepin County court records. Chong Vue, 30, entered his plea Jan. 29, 2010. The court records did not say what sentence he received.
His brother, Gary Vue, 28, the shooter in the 2001 case, was convicted Dec. 10, 2009 of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with a chance of parole after 31 years. Gary Vue has since been extradited to Sacramento to face trial along with Chu Vue, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office. Chong Vue is expected to be transported to Sacramento within the next month. Chong Vue and Gary Vue were fugitives in the Minnesota case at the time of Lo's shooting.
Police and prosecutors say that Chu Vue arranged the shooting death of Lo because the correctional officer was having an affair with the former deputy's wife.
A friend of the family, Lang Vue, 27, also is charged with murder in the case on grounds that he aided and abetted the correctional officer's death.
Two other defendants, Lee Vue and his brother Mason Vue, were accused along with Allyssa Vue as acting as accessories. Their trial is scheduled for April 14.
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