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Hmong Murders: 4 Could Face Death Penalty, 7th Suspect Named
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 years ago on
January 3, 2020

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Four suspects in the Nov. 17 shooting deaths of four Hmong men in Fresno could face death penalty charges, Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp announced Thursday afternoon.
Three other suspects will also be charged in federal court.
Anthony Montes (27 of Fresno), Porge Ku (26 of Fresno), Billy Xiong (25 of Fresno) and Ger Lee (27 of Fresno) each face four counts of murder, 12 counts of attempted murder, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. They also face two special circumstances — committing multiple murders, and committing murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang — that elevate the charges to a capital murder case.
Lee, the seventh announced suspect, is in a Minnesota jail pending an extradition hearing according to a news release from Smittcamp’s office. He was arrested by U.S. Marshals.
They also face criminal gang and gun charges.

Arraignment Scheduled for Friday

The four men will be tried in Fresno Superior Court. Their arraignment is scheduled for Friday, 8:30 a.m. in Department 31 at the criminal courthouse.
Billy Xiong appeared in court today, per media reports, for his Dec. 17 arrest in Clovis on mail and identity theft.
“The District Attorney’s Office is currently conducting a necessary investigation, and will make a determination and announcement regarding the death penalty at a later date,” the news release said.

Four Others Face Federal Charges

Pao Choua Vang (31 of Fresno), Jhovanny Delgado (19 of Fresno), and Johnny Xiong (25 of Fresno) face federal conspiracy charges.
“According to the criminal complaint, on November 17, 2019, members and associates of the Mongolian Boys Society conspired to commit murder. At a meeting, the defendants and others selected a target residence, chose shooters, provided them with guns, and drove to the target location. Vang, Delgado, and Xiong attended the meeting outlining the planned retaliation and understood that the objective was to murder individuals at the designated target residence. They were designated as lookouts and positioned themselves on street corners near the target residence to report the presence of law enforcement,” the news release said.
Vang, Delgado, and Johnny Xiong face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Four Killed, Six Wounded

At a news conference on Tuesday, Fresno Police Chief Andrew Hall said the Nov. 17 homicides were a gang retaliatory hit for a killing earlier that morning.
In the early hours of Nov. 17, a brother of a Mongolian Boys Society member — Randy Xiong — was killed at home on 3904 E. Dwight Ave
At 7:48 p.m., two gunmen stormed a backyard Sunday night football watching party at 5361 E. Lamona Ave., firing two pistols. Of the 16 men present, 10 were struck. Four died. Many more partygoers, mostly women and children, were inside and not injured.
Even though none of the dead was involved with gangs, a one-time associate of the rival Asian Crips gang was believed to be at the party. Hall would not say if he was one of the victims, either wounded or killed. However, he did say he was not an active gang member.
The four men who died in the mass shooting were 23-year-old Xy Lee, an internationally known Hmong singer; 31-year-old Phia Vang, 38-year-old Kou Xiong, and 40-year-old Kalaxang Thao. All of the men were from Fresno. Six others were wounded but have since been released from the hospital.

Victims from the Nov. 17 Fresno shooting, from left to right: Phia Vang, Kalaxang Thao, Kou Xiong, Xy Lee. (GV Wire File)

Watch: Fresno PD Announces Arrests

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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