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

Murder conviction in 2018 Minneapolis shooting

The shooting on the edge of downtown last year came after an argument over blocking the sidewalk.

Murder charge filed in Monday killing in downtown Minneapolis

A second victim survived, but is permanently paralyzed after a bullet severed his spine.
AnnDee Gunderson, left, and Natasha Gunderson became emotional recalling their cousin Kimberly Gunderson, who died in a crash last September in front

Mpls. man given 32 years in prison for crash outside Matt's Bar that killed 3

Three people were killed and five were injured in the Sept. 2018 crash.
Attorneys representing ex-Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor filed dozens of letters from community members supporting their case for probation i

Dozens of supporters file letters supporting probation for Mohamed Noor in Justine Damond killing

A Minneapolis police supervisor who testified at Noor's murder trial wrote in support of a lighter sentence.
Emmanuel Aranda, the man who threw a 5-year-old boy over a Mall of America balcony, and his lawyer Paul Sellers, right, listened to Judge Jeannice Red

Man who threw boy at MOA offers no apology, explanation

Emmanuel Aranda received a 19-year prison sentence for throwing 5-year-old Landen over the railing in April.
Cha Vang

Son of revered Hmong general charged in theft case

Cha Vang is accused of stealing $160,000 in a gold-selling deal.
Ex-Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, right, with attorneys Peter Wold, center, and Thomas Plunkett, left walk out of the the Hennepin County Go

Cameras allowed in Friday sentencing of ex-officer Mohamed Noor

Judge insists on minimal distractions from media during Friday proceedings.
Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighborhood of St Paul’s yellow zone on the first

St. Paul trash collection system will go to voters, judge orders

The judge said the City Council violated the city charter by denying a referendum. Residents have until June 30 to contract with garbage haulers pending the vote.
Officer Jesse Lopez's body cam video of Mohamed Noor after the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017.

Video and audio evidence in Mohamed Noor trial is released

The recordings include Justine Ruszczyk Damond's 911 calls and a video recorded by a bicyclist immediately after she was shot.
An SUV rammed this bus shelter on E. Lake Street over the weekend.

Charges: Mpls. man used drugs before crashing into bus shelter, hurting 3

One man's leg was amputated due to injuries caused by the crash at Lake Street and S. 22nd Avenue on Sunday night.
Christopher D. Stallings

Charges: Passenger threatened Metro Transit bus driver, forced her off route

A man allegedly brandished what appeared to be a weapon at a Metro Transit bus driver, threatened her and forced her to drive off her…
Kathryn Quaintance

Judge: Key body camera videos in Noor trial will be altered; other evidence can be copied

Judge Kathryn Quaintance ordered that the public can have access to exhibits.
Luann M. Johnson

Motorist pleads guilty to driving drunk in 2017 crash that killed woman walking with her mother

Luann M. Johnson drove drunk after a fundraiser and killed Mary C. Singleton.
Mohamed Noor’s Department of Corrections booking photo. ORG XMIT: MIN1905031206443004

Prosecutors say 'overwhelming evidence' should be reason to deny Mohamed Noor's request for acquittal

Jurors did not have to find that Noor acted with a "depraved mind," prosecutors said.
Deonte Lawson

As her rapist and kidnapper was sentenced, this survivor said it won't dictate her future

"I am smarter, braver and stronger than Mr. Lawson ever counted on," the rape survivor said.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda

Minneapolis man pleads guilty to throwing boy off MOA balcony

Emmanuel Aranda will serve 19 years in prison for the April 12 attack in which he threw the boy over a third-floor balcony.
Hennepin County District Judge Kathryn Quaintance’s decision comes on the heels of a Friday filing by prosecutors who requested that none of the evi

Noor trial evidence can be viewed; copying uncertain

But the judge will issue an order later on whether the data can be copied.
Dow

Murder charge filed four years after woman's disappearance

Adelle "Addie" Jensen's body has never been found.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor walks through the skyway with his attorney Thomas Plunkett, right, on the way to court for the verdict

State BCA facing intense new scrutiny in wake of Noor trial

The state agency that investigates officer-involved shootings is facing intense new scrutiny for alleged missteps in its investigation into the killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, as critics ranging from activists to the governor demand answers.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, center, walked into the Hennepin County Courthouse for the verdict in the shooting death of Justine Ru

Noor guilty of third-degree murder, manslaughter in killing of Justine Damond

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was found guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor walks through the skyway with his attorney Thomas Plunkett, left, on the way to court for his second da

Noor's fate in Damond case is in jury's hands

Jurors are debating two versions of the 2017 killing that reverberated around the world: An officer who acted recklessly when he fired at a woman who had called 911, and one who used his training to stop a possible threat to him and his partner.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor walked through the elevator lobby of the Hennepin County Government Center with his legal team on Frida

Surprise Noor witnesses testify about the noises they heard

The defense for the former Minneapolis police officer contends that a sudden sound startled the officer before the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
This courtroom sketch Thursday depicts former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor on the witness stand.

Noor breaks silence, recalls making 'split-second decision'

Former Minneapolis police officer's testimony marked the first time he has spoken publicly about the night Justine Ruszczyk Damond was killed in her south Minneapolis alley.
Flanked by his lawyers, Peter Wold, left, and Thomas Plunkett, right, former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor made his way into court on April

Use-of-force expert: No force, not even Taser, justified in Noor's fatal encounter with Damond

Witnesses said Justine Damond was shot because of bad decisions; defense questions their credentials.
Justine Ruszczyk Damond

Noor trial: BCA agent is pressed on his probe into sounds before Damond was shot

The prosecution aggressively questioned the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension about its inquiry into Justine Damond's killing.
Justine Ruszczyk Damond

Noor trial testimony: No fingerprints on squad belonged to Damond

A fingerprint specialist testified that none of the 51 prints belonged to Justine Ruszczyk Damond. But she said that doesn't necessarily eliminate the possibility Damond slapped the vehicle.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, middle, is flanked by his attorneys Peter Wold, left, and Thomas Plunkett, right, at the Hennepin Coun

Noor trial reveals deep fracture between Mpls. police, County Attorney's Office

Experienced attorneys say they have never seen such deep conflict between a law enforcement agency and prosecutor revealed in a Minnesota courtroom.
Minneapolis police officer Matthew Harrity leaves the courtroom for lunch break with his attorney Fred Bruno.

Noor's former partner testifies he feared for life when silhouette appeared

Asked if the use of deadly force would've been premature, officer Matthew Harrity responded yes.
Justine Ruszczyk Damond

Noor jury sees teen's 29-second video of shooting's aftermath

The teenager recorded a 29-second clip of the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor leaves the Hennepin County Government Center after the first day of trial in Minneapolis on Monday, Apr

Prosecutors assail fired Mpls. officer's supervisor for procedural missteps, secrecy

Questions of secrecy continue in Mohamed Noor's murder trial
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, left, and his attorney Thomas Plunkett made their way out of court at the Hennepin County Government C

Prosecutors in Noor case query officers about turning off body cams

Sgt. Jarrod Kunze took the stand Monday afternoon as Noor's murder trial entered its third week.
The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, center, has placed prosecutors in the position of relying on testimony of officers whose

Noor trial unfolding amid debate over 'blue wall of silence'

Prosecution's witnesses include officers whose credibility they question.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, middle, is flanked by his attorneys Peter Wold, left, and Thomas Plunkett, right, on Tuesday, April 9,

Noor trial: Supervisor testifies fear of ambush was on officers' minds

After several incidents across the country, officers were on high alert, he said.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, middle, is flanked by his attorneys Peter Wold, left, and Thomas Plunkett, right, as he breaks for lun

Noor trial: Fellow officers told Noor to keep quiet, contacted union officials

A chaotic scene unfolded immediately after Justine Ruszczyk Damond was shot.
Justine Ruszczyk Damond

'Even very quick' medical intervention would not have saved Justine Damond

Jurors heard 911 audio and saw video and photos of the crime scene in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor.
Media members approach Don Damond, the fiance of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, second from right, and Zach Damond, right, Damond's son, as they arrive for

'I was in shock': Justine Damond's fiance gives emotional testimony at Noor trial

Don Damond was overwhelmed by tears at times when he recalled the night in 2017 Justine was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer, who is on trial for murder.
Mohamed Noor, accompanied by his legal team, headed into court last week for the beginning of a trial on murder charges for killing Justine Ruszczyk D

Jury seated in Noor trial; opening statements on Tuesday

No one in the pool of 12 men and four women said they followed news of officer-involved shootings, including the 2016 fatal shooting of Philando Castile.
FILE - In this May 8, 2018, file photo, former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor arrives at the Hennepin County Government Center for a hearing

Jurors' implicit biases on minds of attorneys in Noor trial

With race expected to play a key role — Noor is black, Damond was white — attorneys have gone to some lengths to tease out racial bias among potential jurors, stemming from news coverage and personal experiences.
Mohamed Noor, accompanied by his legal team, heads into court to stand trial Monday on murder charges for killing Justine Ruszczyk Damond in a Minneap

Tensions rise again over questioning of potential jurors in Noor trial

Prosecutors challenged defense's wording in the trial of Mohamed Noor.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, center, arrived for the first day of jury selection with his attorney's Peter Wold, left, and Thomas P

Challenge to judge's limits on viewing body camera footage in Noor trial to be heard Friday

Attorneys from either side took no clear position on the media's objections.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, center, arrives for the first day of jury selection with his attorneys Peter Wold, left, and Thomas Pl

Prosecution, defense spar as Noor jury selection continues

Tense exchanges and an oblique accusation of "prosecutorial misconduct" marked the proceedings.
Mohamed Noor, accompanied by his legal team, Peter Wold, and Tom Plunkett left after a probable cause hearing for the ex-Minneapolis cop Thursday at t

Noor trial clashes over use of 3-D reconstruction evidence

Prosecutors say it's key evidence, while the defense says it could confuse jurors.
This courtroom sketch depicts jury selection Monday in Minneapolis in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, second from right.

At Noor trial, attorneys begin research on prospective jurors

Social media and other data are fair game, experts say.
Mohamed Noor, accompanied by his legal team, heads into court to stand trial Monday on murder charges for killing Justine Ruszczyk Damond in a Minneap

About 75 prospective jurors introduced in Noor trial; judge cites 'threatening phone calls' in order

About 75 prospective jurors convened Monday in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor and answered questionnaires that will be used…
This courtroom sketch depicts jury selection Monday, April 1, 2019, in Minneapolis in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, sec

After backlash, seven new seats added for media at Noor trial

More seating for media outlets will be added for the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, in response to concerns from journalists and…
Mohamed Noor, accompanied by his legal team, heads into court to stand trial Monday on murder charges for killing Justine Ruszczyk Damond in a Minneap

Jury selection begins today in Mohamed Noor's police shooting trial

The scrutinized case against Mohamed Noor in the fatal 2017 shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond promises to be difficult on all fronts.
Sketch of Judge Kathryn Quaintance addressing the courtroom during Friday's pretrial hearing for former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who i

Body cam footage in Noor trial won't be seen by media, gallery

"I don't see any value in that being shown outside the people directly involved in the case," Hennepin County District Judge Kathryn Quaintance said at a pretrial hearing.

Charges: U of M employee used university funds to buy computers he resold for profit

Michael J. McDaniel allegedly said robbers who threatened him coerced him into making the purchases.
Former Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor, left, leaves the Hennepin County Government Center Friday, March 1, 2019 in Minneapolis with attorney

Prosecutors want body camera policy, other officers' experience admitted at Noor trial

The prosecution also wants to examine potential bias in police witnesses if necessary.

Waconia wrestling coach investigated over drug allegation involving student

A Waconia high school wrestling coach and his wife are under investigation for allegedly giving a student prescription medication to treat a herpes rash in an apparent attempt to avoid disqualification from competition.
A St. Paul police officer, seen at the scene of a suspected crime in 2017

Public access to hundreds of St. Paul police reports was restricted by 'lockdown' policy

Officials say policy protects sensitive cases from prying eyes; most have been released.
Former Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor, left, leaves the Hennepin County Government Center Friday, March 1, 2019 in Minneapolis with attorney

Noor defense: Limit or prohibit testimony of Minneapolis police body camera policy

Attorneys for former police officer seek to set parameters for upcoming murder trial.
Jeanne Ann “Jeanie” Childs was killed in her Minneapolis apartment in June 1993. ORG XMIT: MIN1902130948167083

Bail reduced for Isanti man charged in 1993 cold case murder in Minneapolis

Jerry Westrom's defense attorneys plans to investigate the victim's prostitution history.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, center, flanked by his attorneys, Thomas Plunkett, left, and Peter Wold, right, leaves Hennepin County

Final court dates set leading to April 1 trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor

The defense and prosecution will vet the other's expert witnesses at a March hearing.

Charges: Boy unconscious one month after car crash with drunken driver

Authorities say they found empty and near-empty alcohol bottles in Maple Grove man's car.

Minnesota GOP political consultant acquitted of domestic assault charges

Jonathan Aanestad said he was falsely accused.
Irina Vaynerman, deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and Attorney General Keith Ellison announce a lawsuit against CSL Pl

State sues plasma donation company on behalf of transgender woman

CSL Plasma forced the woman to identify as a man for years, and banned her when she resisted, her attorney said.
Jonathan Aanestad

Minnesota GOP political consultant to stand trial on domestic assault charges

Jonathan Aanestad says he is falsely accused and has "an airtight alibi."
Mohamed Noor, center, left the Hennepin County Government Center Friday flanked by his attorneys, Thomas Plunkett, left, and Peter Wold, right.

Noor wins rulings limiting evidence at trial over Damond shooting

The judge ruled that prosecutors could not use Noor's "prior acts" as a police officer as evidence against him, including an incident where he pointed a gun at a motorist during a traffic stop.
The home in south Minneapolis where Jerry Lee Curry raped and tortured his twin daughters until authorities removed them.

Mother in Minneapolis 'house of horrors' case sentenced to probation

Shelia Wilson apologized for her actions and will have to serve four years in prison if she violates probation.
FILE - In this May 8, 2018, file photo, former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor arrives at the Hennepin County Government Center for a hearing

Noor's silence should be admissible during trial, prosecutors say

Mohamed Noor's refusal to speak with an investigator should be allowed at trial, prosecutors argued.
Fremont Johnson Jr.

Charges: Crystal man harassed Fox 9 newsroom, threatened to kill staffers

Fremont Johnson Jr. allegedly threatened to kill staffers at the Eden Prairie office.
The home in south Minneapolis where Jerry Lee Curry raped and tortured his twin daughters until authorities removed them last May.

Victims in 'house of horrors' case want dad locked up for good

One of Jerry L. Curry's daughters said she wanted him to spend his life chained up the way he had chained her and her twin sister.
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.
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