Staff Directory 10646266

Chao Xiong

Reporter | Hennepin County Courts
Phone: 612-673-4391
Location: St. Paul City Hall/courthouse office
Other languages: Hmong

Chao Xiong is the Hennepin County Courts reporter for the Star Tribune. He previously worked as a Ramsey County, state and Minneapolis general assignment reporter.

Xiong is a native of Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa, where he worked on the college paper, The Daily Iowan, for four years.
Recent content from Chao Xiong
Richie Vessel

Charges: Minneapolis man killed neighbor and her daughter after loud music, argument

A witness told police he heard loud music, an argument and then the fatal gunshots.
St. Paul Police Commander Kurt Hallstrom with a PepperBall launcher at a downtown St. Paul Police Department training site Wednesday, Feb. 6, 209, in

With 'pepper balls,' St. Paul police explore another version of less lethal force

The balls disperse a powder irritant that can cause burning in the eyes and nose.
Assistant Chief Kathy Wuorinen attended a roll call at the Western District Office. She is the highest ranking female officer to ever serve with St. P

'I was the token female': Retiring St. Paul officer felt as if she always had to prove her worth to peers

Kathy Wuorinen was St. Paul's highest ranking female officer ever.
Harvey T. Kneifl

Charges: Accused child molester slashed wife's throat, slashed himself

Harvey T. Kneifl was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife.
The BCA is investigating a death at the home of a man on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting children on a school bus.

Woodbury police investigating woman's death at alleged child molester's home

Harvey Kneifl was wounded and his wife was found dead Thursday morning, according to Kneifl's attorney.
Victor Vital

Victor Vital, Holocaust educator and survivor, dies at 86

He immigrated to St. Paul in 1967 with his family and quietly began a long career as an accountant. Then he started telling his story.
Shawn M. Konder’s actions were called “senseless” by the judge.

Driver who killed beloved St. Paul barber in crash sentenced to 15 years

Shawn M. Konder was fleeing police when he slammed into a car being driven by Lashay Whittaker.
St. Paul police investigated a homicide on University Avenue on Jan. 15.

St. Paul sees drop in homicides, increase in reported rapes

The city's year-end crime statistics for 2018 showed a 7.2 percent drop from the previous year in the most serious offenses.

Bingo hall manager, employees accused of stealing thousands from youth hockey group

The three women are accused of taking thousands of dollars for personal use and gambling.
Tyreese W. Harris

Charges: St. Paul man raped woman separated from her friend after a night out

A registered predatory offender is charged with raping a woman who became separated from her friend after a night out in downtown Minneapolis. Tyreese W.…

Suspect arrested in string of 'bizarre' random attacks in St. Paul

The 38-year-old man allegedly assaulted and swore at his victims.

Children's Museum employee under investigation for child porn

Museum officials said a police search at the museum yielded no evidence in the case.

Ringleader of group who terrorized teens pleads guilty to attack, rape on St. Paul's Harriet Island

Choncey M. Stewart was 16 when he robbed and assaulted a group of teens at gunpoint.

Charges: St. Paul man inflicted abuse on girlfriend's children leading to 3-year-old's death

Alontae K. Buttes allegedly beat his girlfriend's three children regularly.
Mohamed Mohamud

St. Paul man charged with in fatal shooting of his cousin

Abdirahman Mohamed Adam allegedly thought the gun was empty when he fired it at Mohamed Abdi Mohamud.
Frank A. Baker, 53, spent 14 days in Regions Hospital. Brett Palkowitsch, 31, was charged with one count of deprivation of rights in connection with t

St. Paul officer federally indicted over kicking of innocent man

Officer Brett Palkowitsch is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.
St. Paul police were on the scene of what the department is calling the city's first shooting homicide of the year in the alley behind Sunshine Grocer

Man dies after alley shooting near St. Paul's University Avenue

There have been no arrests in the city's first homicide of the year.
Newly sworn-in as Ramsey County district judges are Adam Yang, left, and P. Paul Yang.

Minnesota adds two new Hmong-American judges to the bench

Half of the country's judges of Hmong heritage are now serving in Ramsey County.
St. Paul Chief Deputy Mary Nash, left, visited with owner of Sense of Style beauty salon Torih Michelle Holmes, right, customer Latesa Pye, center, an

St. Paul police officer recruitment effort goes to the beauty shop

There are no black female officers on the St. Paul police force for the first time in 43 years.
St. Paul police officers have elected a longtime union leader to serve as the organization’s president in the first contested race for the seat in n

Longtime second-in-command elected president of St. Paul Police Federation

Officer Paul Kuntz was elected president over challenger Sgt. Matt Koncar.
The Minnesota Supreme Court, shown in 2017, issued an order in mid-December asking the State Court Administrator’s Office to “develop and provide�

Minn. judges to be offered training in the science of eyewitness identification

While some see the move as a first step in the right direction, others say it doesn't go far enough.
Seventeen police canines and their human partners graduated from St. Paul's K-9 training program in May.

Audit: Failings in training, supervision of St. Paul police K-9 unit factored into bites

An audit released Friday issued about three dozen recommendations to improve the unit, including a de-emphasis on human apprehension.
“People told me, ‘Oh, you’re too nice to do that job.’ ” – Ret. Sgt. Valerie Namen

St. Paul police have no black female officers for the first time in 43 years

In her two decades with St. Paul police, Sgt. Valarie Namen’s assignments ranged from patrol to narcotics, and she helped rescue a man who lay…

St. Paul teen accused of murdering friend, pinning blame on four nonexistent suspects

The body of the 15-year-old gunshot victim was found near a dog park in St. Paul.
Ramsey County Sheriff-elect Bob Fletcher

Bob Fletcher's return to sheriff's office marked by key alliances

Several months before he officially announced a comeback campaign for Ramsey County Sheriff, Bob Fletcher began planting doubts about his rival in the same…
Rachel Kayl broke down at her sentencing hearing Wednesday for a 2016 crash that killed Mounds View High School students Bridget Giere and Stephanie C

Pain from 2016 crash that killed 2 teens felt anew at sentencing

Rachel Kayl was given 10 years' probation and a year in the county workhouse in the crash that killed two students on their way to Mounds View High School.
Miklos Dates

Charges filed in gang-related killing of man in St. Paul

Two of three suspects in the killing of Taishawn Smith remain at large.
Dave Titus, left, shown in 2008 with Bob Fletcher.

St. Paul police union chief to join Ramsey County sheriff-elect's team

Dave Titus sent an e-mail to St. Paul officers announcing that he was not stepping down from the police union office or election.
David Martinez

Former St. Paul City Council candidate charged with posting nude photo of estranged wife

The image was allegedly posted on his campaign website in July.
Sgt. Dave Strecker with the St. Paul Police Department retrieved a package containing a GPS tracker in it that was placed on a resident's front steps

With porch piracy on rise, St. Paul police use GPS to find package thieves

The department believes there is a "substantial" increase this year in package thefts.
Chy Nou Lee

Ramsey County sheriff-elect appoints Hmong-American deputy to top spot

Chy Nou Lee will be the state's highest-ranking Hmong-American officer, Bob Fletcher said.
FILE -- Former St. Paul Police Chief William Finney

Ramsey County Sheriff-elect Bob Fletcher picks leadership team

The incoming sheriff picked St. Paul police Senior Cmdr. Tina McNamara to fill a key role on his staff.

St. Paul City Council approves $75,000 settlement in police dog attack

The settlement was reached even though no lawsuit or claim had been filed.
Peter Berge

Driver in fatal crash takes St. Paul police to court for return of car, belongings

St. Paul attorney Peter Berge alleges that the city violated his constitutional right to due process.
Anti-Semitic slurs were reported in St. Paul on Thursday.

Anti-Semitic slur reportedly written in snow on car in St. Paul

Police said they will investigate to determine whether it's a crime before deciding if it's a hate crime.
Justin M. Girling

St. Paul man gets 15 years in prison for killing brother in the family home

Justin Girling promised to start a ministry if he received probation instead of prison time.

St. Paul man charged in assault outside State Fair that left victim brain damaged

The men fought after allegedly calling each other a homophobic slur.

Shoreview man charged in second sex abuse case

The victim was unconscious when the alleged abuse occurred.

St. Paul man sentenced to prison for indecent exposure

Shawn M. Tillman allegedly exposed himself twice while out of custody awaiting his sentencing.

Minnesota mother fed 'emaciated' baby laxatives, charges say

The baby suffered a seizure likely due to the alleged abuse.
Jeffrey M. Eldred (Ramsey County Jail)

Woman exposes Shoreview man's cache of alleged sexual assault videos

Authorities are attempting to identify an unspecified number of women shown in about 40 videos.
St. Paul firefighters work the scene of a house explosion.

St. Paul firefighters recount pulling resident from rubble after house explosion

Investigators are looking for a cause; injured St. Paul man remains hospitalized.

Police investigating alleged assault of St. Paul assistant principal by student

In St. Paul, court cases have gone from 15 in 2015 to 2 so far this year.
A photo of a young John Kwiecien.

John Kwiecien, Scout leader who raised four Eagle Scouts, dies at 93

John Kwiecien courted Carol Watson from the middle of the Pacific Ocean during World War II by writing letters daily for more than a year,…
A bloody paw print was left outside the home of Jennifer Hankerson. While looking for a man with a warrant, Minneapolis police went to the St. Paul ho

Minneapolis police kill dog, wound a second while executing arrest warrant in St. Paul

The shooting occurred early Tuesday while they were executing an arrest warrant in St. Paul.
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell has final authority over the Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission recommendations.

St. Paul civilian review commission recommended few police misconduct allegations for discipline

Results released Tuesday show few St. Paul cases forwarded for discipline.
St. Paul City Council Member Dai Thao, left, walked with his attorney Joe Dixon, right, from the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center following a hear

Judge: St. Paul council member acted legally in helping voter

St. Paul council member had faced charges over helping a woman vote.

Sex trafficker who served as 'operational control center' for ring gets 13 years in prison

The group targeted vulnerable women from Korea and China.

Minneapolis woman guilty of burglarizing home, killing dog

Elizabeth Osterbauer had unrequited romantic feelings for pet's owner.
Tnuza Jamal Hassan

Former St. Catherine University student capable of understanding terrorism charges, doctor testifies

A federal judge did not immediately rule on Tnuza Hassan's competency to stand trial.
Perrin Cooper Jr.

Second suspect sentenced for role in robbery, murder of St. Paul widow

One of three men who plotted to rob a St. Paul woman last year was sentenced Wednesday to nearly two years in prison for his role in a crime that eventually led to her murder.
St. Paul City Council Member Dai Thao, left, walked with his attorney Joe Dixon, right, from the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center following his he

Judge will decide culpability in St. Paul Council Member Dai Thao's case

St. Paul City Council member is charged with unlawfully helping a voter.
Lawrence N. Mokaya is charged with sexually assaulting a vulnerable woman in the group home where he worked.

Shoreview group home caregiver sexually abused vulnerable resident, charges say

The woman told authorities that Lawrence Mokaya abused her in multiple areas of the Shoreview group home.
Lillian Kuller was found murdered in her St. Paul home on Feb. 1, 1987.

At sentencing, St. Paul widow's killer accuses judge, county attorney of staging 'media circus' for political gain

Michael Withers offered no apology or remorse for strangling an 81-year-old woman in 1987.

Suspect sentenced to life in prison for fatal beating of St. Paul widow

Man maintains innocence; he is eligible for parole.
St. Paul City Council Member Dai Thao.

Judge: Dai Thao's assistance of St. Paul voter allowed by federal law

The judge did not rule on the St. Paul City Council member's guilt or innocence in the state case.
About 17 police officers, civilian employees and community members spent several days in Washington, D.C., visiting sites dealing with race and histor

Community members, St. Paul police confront painful history on D.C. trip

Third annual trip is an effort to forge community-police understanding and bonds.
Richard Joles

Last suspect pleads guilty in 2017 beating death of St. Paul widow

But Richard Joles insisted he didn't touch the victim during the 2017 robbery.

St. Paul U student likely choked to death after drinking, autopsy shows

Dylan Fulton was a sophomore studying animal science.
Darren Jahnke ORG XMIT: MIN1803151335280564

After second review, Ramsey County attorney clears deputies in fatal shooting

A cellphone recording made by Darren Jahnke, who was killed, corroborates the deputies' statements, authorities said.
Friend Alicia Smith,left, comforts Melissa Waukazo, the sister of William "Billy" Hughes after a ceremony for her brother on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 in S

St. Paul officers acted legally in fatal shooting, county attorney says

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said the shooting of William Hughes in August was "objectively reasonable."
Senior commander Axel Henry demonstrated how to turn on the new body cameras during a press conference on the first day of training for the police bod

St. Paul Police Federation sues chief for ban on muting body cameras

The chief banned muting body-worn cameras, and disabled the function on all devices.
Lisa Marie Stowe

Attorney challenges warrant in Maplewood school threat that turned up arsenal

Information was omitted from search warrant that led to discovery of arsenal.
Kevin Reek

After brief deliberation, jurors convict man in beating death of elderly St. Paul woman

Fueled by a meth binge, Kevin Reek ransacked 79-year-old Myong Ki Gossel's St. Paul home last year looking for cash, dragged her into the…
St. Paul officer Justin Tiffany works on a new unit designed to help people in need get appropriate medical care or referral.

St. Paul police mental health unit doubles social worker staffing

The increased staffing allows the team to respond to calls of people in crisis, not just follow up afterward.

Driver pleads guilty to killing two Mounds View students, injuring third

Rachel Kayl was traveling 82 mph in a 50-mph zone when she struck the girls on their way to school.

St. Paul police investigate alleged sexual assault at Crossroads Elementary

The incident, from this past January, remains under investigation, and no arrests have been made.
A St. Paul police officer's body camera footage shows Desiree Collins' attack by "Gabe," a St. Paul police K-9.

Bystander attacked by St. Paul police dog to get $520,000

Desiree Collins was taking out the trash when K-9 Gabe attacked her without warning or orders from his handler.

Charges against mother dropped in exchange for son's plea in death of St. Paul bicyclist

Abbey Hegner originally was charged with helping her son evade police after he killed Jose Hernandez Solano.

St. Paul boy, 14, killed by freight train

A 14-year-old St. Paul boy was struck and killed by a freight train Friday morning, police said Monday.
Kevin Reek

Man who allegedly beat St. Paul widow to death stands trial

Authorities said three men conspired to bilk money from a woman known to keep large amounts of cash in her home.

St. Paul schools push for testimony in sex abuse lawsuit

Attorney says the alleged victim of former custodian is too traumatized to testify.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi.

Ramsey County attorney has case of St. Paul man killed by police

The Minnesota BCA turned over its findings for review in the officer-involved shooting.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi recently opened a newly painted children’s interview room, created by Artist Ara Elizabeth Schmidt, that is named a

Late Ramsey County prosecutor's work honored with children's interview room

County's interview room gets a colorful remodel in honor of late prosecutor.
Antoine J. Grasty

Minneapolis man charged in St. Paul slaying near BCA headquarters

The suspect and victim were on opposite sides of a recent homicide.
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