Thursday, April 13, 2006

Vang update: "A Minnesota man convicted of killing six deer hunters and wounding two others in a shooting spree in northwestern Wisconsin was moved to an Iowa prison because of security concerns. Corrections officials moved Chai Soua Vang to the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa, in January, according to state records. He had been imprisoned at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun. Officials moved him because they had safety concerns for corrections staff, inmates and others, said Dan Westfield, security chief for the Department of Corrections' division of adults institutions. Westfield compared the case to that of convicted Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was killed in 1994 by another inmate. "The reasons we move an inmate, and I'll use the Dahmer situation, is that there is a lot of media attention and it stirs a lot of emotion," Westfield said Friday. "Wisconsin is a state with a lot of deer hunters, and we have a lot of inmates who are deer hunters, and there are some racial concerns." During his trial, Vang, a Hmong immigrant, testified he shot in self-defense at the white hunters after they hurled profanities and racial slurs and took a shot at him. Two survivors testified no one pointed a gun at Vang. The shooting occurred on the second day of the 2004 deer hunting season after Vang trespassed in a tree stand on private land in Sawyer County. Vang, 37, of St. Paul, Minn., was sentenced Nov. 8 to six consecutive life prison terms with no chance for parole."

Bum rap in Vermont? "A teenager was charged with first-degree murder Monday in a weekend shooting death in Burlington's Old North End. Looking slight and saying nothing Skylar Underhill, 19, pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge. Police are continuing to build their case against Underhill, who they said shot and killed fellow partygoer Rhynell Lewis during an argument Friday night at an upstairs rear apartment on La Fountain Street. Detectives said they have recovered another piece of evidence from the neighborhood: the ammunition clip they believe Underhill tossed as he fled the scene of the shooting. Officers said when police arrested him nearby, he was still carrying the 45-caliber handgun. The defense is already raising possibility the shooting was self-defense, because two witnesses say the victim punched Underhill and threatened him before the shooting".

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