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
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.
Stewart

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.
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