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
Zachary V. Robinson

St. Paul man expected to get nearly 50 years in prison for killing pregnant woman and baby

Zachary V. Robinson, 27, pleaded guilty Thursday in Hennepin County District Court to two counts of second-degree murder.
Donald C. Jenkins Jr. ORG XMIT: MIN1812201513012109

St. Paul man convicted in 1991 Minneapolis murder

DNA evidence linked Donald C. Jenkins Jr. to the crime.
“We don’t want to hold anybody [in jail] unless it’s absolutely necessary. No one should be punished for being poor.” Hennepin County Attorney

Hennepin County prosecutor to end bail for several low-level offenses

Critics say the policy, which goes into effect Jan. 1., won't result in meaningful change.
Attorney General Keith Ellison spoke during a press conference at the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

Prosecutors challenge livestreaming of Floyd trial, arguing it could limit testimony

Prosecutors ask judge in Floyd killing to rescind order allowing recording.
Myon Burrell was convicted with no gun, fingerprints or hard evidence in 11-year-old Tyesha Edward’s killing.

Mike Freeman offers to cut Myon Burrell's prison term by 15 years

The offer would not affect a life term with the possibility of parole.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Judge rejects Chauvin divorce agreement, citing possible fraud

A divorce settlement that would have given most of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s assets to his wife was rejected by a judge who…
Outgoing Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty

Three finalists named for Hennepin County chief public defender

Three finalists for Hennepin County chief public defender have been selected for interviews next month.The Minnesota Board of Public Defense announced the finalists Thursday: Kassius…

Charges: Minneapolis victim identified shooter before dying

A Minneapolis man used his dying breath to identify the friend who shot him in October, according to murder charges filed Wednesday.Brent D. Buchan, 23,…
Shante C. Davis

Mpls. officer admits to using 'deception' to question, arrest alleged murder accomplice

Investigator admits using "deception" to question the defendant.By CHAO XIONG chao.xiong@startribune.com
Monique Baugh

Charges: Former probation officer abused job to aid murder suspect

Prosecutors link Elsa Segura to Dec. 31 murder.
Amina T. Mussa McCaskill and Thressa I. Johnson

Election protesters shined laser in officer's eyes, kicked another in groin, charges say

Women said to have pointed a laser at officer's eyes, kicked cop in groin.
Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Ex-officers charged in Floyd killing will be tried together in Minneapolis

Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao will start trial on March 8 in the downtown courthouse. The judge said he would allow cameras in the courtroom and will sequester the jury for safety.

Minneapolis man charged with murder in Crystal shooting

Maricio Mata-Thelen, 26, of St. Paul, died from a gunshot wound to his neck. He was killed in Crystal.
Former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Ex-Mpls. officers will go to trial, with a charge vs. Chauvin dropped

After a judge dropped a third-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and ruled three others will remain charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter, Gov. Tim Walz activated the National Guard.
Judge Peter A. Cahill

When does third-degree murder apply?

The statute confuses some legal scholars.
Former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Kueng, left, arrives with his attorney Thomas Plunkett for a hearing at the Hennepin County Government

Defense attorney in George Floyd case renews call to move trial after protester arrests

Thomas Plunkett, who represents J. Alexander Kueng, filed a motion to submit videos of two incidents to the court to reinforce an earlier request.
About 300 people marched south on Portland Avenue in Minneapolis on Wednesday night, hours after fired police officer Derek Chauvin posted bond and wa

Chauvin released on $1 million bond pending trial in George Floyd killing

After the fired police officer was released from pretrial custody by posting $1 million bond, Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard and mobilized 100 state troopers and 75 conservation officers out of caution.
Lauren P. Peterson was wrongly identified by Minneapolis police as an assault suspect. Peterson said police never contacted her before pursuing a case

Woman says Minneapolis police falsely identified her as assault suspect without contacting her

Lauren P. Peterson said police never reached out to her before pursuing a case against her.

St. Anthony woman wrongly charged with assaulting journalist

A St. Anthony woman was wrongly charged in September with assaulting a journalist during protests in downtown Minneapolis, according to recently filed court documents.The Minneapolis…
Dr. Jill Biden helped pack fresh produce outside the Sanneh Foundation headquarters in St. Paul where food was given to families in need at a drive-th

Jill Biden on election: 'This is it. There are no do-overs.'

The wife of the Democratic presidential candidate visited Black-owned businesses, helped out at a nonprofit and praised female voters.
Senator John R. Jasinski, R-Faribault, described how some constituents received two sets of license tabs due to problems with the MNLARS system.

Faribault's Sen. Jasinski says he takes 'complete responsibility' for drunken driving

State Sen. John Jasinski said Sunday that he takes "complete responsibility" for driving while impaired Saturday.Jasinski, R-Faribault, declined to be interviewed but acknowledged in a…
State Sen. John R. Jasinski is a Faribault Republican.

Minnesota state Sen. John Jasinski cited for driving while impaired, court records say

State Sen. John Jasinski was cited Saturday for driving while impaired, according to court records. Public information available on the Minnesota courts website showed that…
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane was screamed at by protesters as he walked to a car from the Hennepin County Family Justice Center follo

Court filing alleges fired officer charged in Floyd killing and attorney were assaulted

Attorney Thomas Plunkett said the former officers' trial must be moved out of the county for their safety.
Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty

State panel declines reappointment of Hennepin County public defender

State Public Defender Bill Ward recommended against reappointing Mary Moriarty because of her "inability to work" with others. The full Board of Public Defense is expected to vote at a meeting beginning at noon.
Protesters in front of the Hennepin County Government Center on Aug. 24. Protesters had taken to the streets that evening after Jacob Blake, who is Bl

St. Anthony woman wrongly charged with assaulting journalist

Editor's note: A St. Anthony woman was wrongly charged in September with assaulting a journalist during protests in downtown Minneapolis, according to later filed court…
Former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Kueng, left, arrived with his attorney Thomas Plunkett for a hearing at the Hennepin County Government

Those who knew ex-officer struggle to understand decisions

J. Alexander Kueng became a Minneapolis police officer to help the community, but prosecutors accuse him of doing nothing to help George Floyd when he and his colleagues fatally pinned him to the ground as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe.
File photo: Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Judge disqualifies Freeman for 'sloppy' work in Floyd case

Protesters gathered as attorneys argued key issues including whether the trial should be moved out of the county, whether the defendants should be tried in one trial or separately, and how jurors will be selected.
Former police officer Thomas Lane walks through security as he arrived for a hearing at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on July 2

Attorneys for former officers in George Floyd murder case want separate trials

A judge will hear oral arguments on the matter at hearing Friday.
Crowds looted the Saks Off Fifth store in downtown Minneapolis on Wednesday, Aug. 26, after rumors swirled that police had shot a man, when in fact th

26 now charged in connection with downtown Mpls. looting

26 now accused of crimes including burglary, assault and drug possession.
From left, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Prosecutors seek longer sentences for officers in George Floyd case

The officers abused their authority and treated Floyd cruelly, prosecutors argued.
Crowds looted the Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth store in downtown Minneapolis on Wednesday, Aug. 26, after a report of a man’s death on Nicollet Mall.

At least 19 charged with burglary, assault in Minneapolis riot

One woman allegedly knocked down an officer and assaulted him after she was cornered in a parking garage.
Former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Kueng, left, entered the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility in Minneapolis for a hearing in June wi

Former officer in George Floyd case seeks change of venue, dismissal of charges

J. Alexander Kueng did not knowingly help anyone commit a crime, his lawyer wrote.
In this July 21, 2020 photo, former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao is flanked by his attorneys as he arrives at the Hennepin County Courthouse be

Former officer who held back crowd at George Floyd death should face trial, prosecutors argue

They say fired officer encouraged other officers, ignored bystanders' pleas to check Floyd's pulse.
Former police officer Thomas Lane walks through security as he arrived for a hearing at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on July 2

Lawyer for ex-officer Lane charged in Floyd killing says he 'did nothing wrong'

Attorney Earl Gray attacks Floyd as a habitual drug user with a violent past.
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, right, entered the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility with his attorney Earl Gray, left, for a June

Audio of investigators questioning officer in George Floyd killing released

This is the first time in Minnesota history such recordings have been released before trial.
Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao, right, arrives with his lawyer Robert Paule, left, for a hearing at the Hennepin County Government Center

Video: Ex-officer charged in Floyd killing tells BCA he was focused on angry crowd

In an interview with investigators, Tou Thao stressed officer safety, addressing George Floyd's well-being and bystanders' concerns only when questioned by a Minnesota BCA special agent.
Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao, shown heading to a hearing in July.

Third body camera video in George Floyd killing shows officer pushing bystanders

The video was filed to support a motion to drop the criminal charges against former officer Tou Thao.
From left, former police officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao. Two police body camera videos in killing of George Floy

Prosecutors seek permission for one trial for all 4 ex-officers in George Floyd's killing

They argue it's in the "interests of justice" and limiting witness trauma. Defense attorneys have not yet filed responses.
Judge Peter A. Cahill

Judge withheld bodycam videos in George Floyd killing to preserve 'fair trial'

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill reversed his initial stance on the matter after being challenged by a coalition of media companies.
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, right, walked out of the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility on June 29 afternoon with his attorney

Prosecutors: Ex-officer Thomas Lane should stand trial in George Floyd killing

Their comments were meant to refute a motion to dismiss the charges, filed in July by Lane's attorney, Earl Gray.
Police body camera video in George Floyd's killing released

Police body camera video in George Floyd's killing released

A coalition of media companies had sought release of footage of George Floyd's killing to the general public.
Left to right: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Daily Mail publishes leaked bodycam footage of George Floyd arrest, killing

Daily Mail claims George Floyd footage was leaked to the media company.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Jail in Minneapolis. Chauvin, 44, faces second-degree murder and second-degree

Media coalition seeks to unseal Derek Chauvin divorce case

Former Minneapolis cop and his estranged wife filed the motion to protect themselves from harassment.
From left to right: Former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Prosecutors in George Floyd case oppose cameras at trial

Prosecutors are opposing audio visual coverage of the trial or trials of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd. Assistant…
Judge Peter A. Cahill

Media organizations challenge gag order in trial of officers charged with George Floyd's death

The coalition contends Judge Cahill's order overreached and violated First Amendment.
Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder of George Floyd. Kueng, Lane and Thao have b

Bodycam video shows officer pulled gun on Floyd early on

Video from body cameras worn by two of the officers involved in the killing of George Floyd was viewed by the public for the first time.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Defense attorney in case over Floyd's death accuses AG Ellison of contempt of court

Attorney Robert Paule wants sanctions against Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Derek Chauvin. (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office/TNS) ORG XMIT: 1709284

Attorneys for ex-Minneapolis officers object to judge's gag order in George Floyd death

Derek Chauvin's lawyer says judge's order violates his constitutional rights to free speech and a public trial.
Attorney Earl Gray filed two body-worn camera (BWC) videos in court about a week ago as evidence supporting his motion to dismiss the charges against

Media coalition calls for immediate release of body camera footage in George Floyd killing

It can be viewed only by appointment at the courthouse, not recorded.
Del Shea Perry, the mother of an Apple Valley man who died in the Beltrami County jail in 2018 spoke to the early crowd at the demonstration in front

DOC chief calls for criminal investigation of Beltrami County jail inmate's death

Letters by health care professional alleged neglect of inmate at Beltrami County jail.
Aaron J. Hjermstad

Former youth basketball coach charged in third case of child sex abuse

A former Minneapolis grade-school teacher and youth basketball coach was charged Thursday for the third time with sexually abusing a child under his care. Aaron…
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, right, walked out of the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility on June 29 afternoon with his attorney

Judge issues gag order in trial of ex-officers in George Floyd killing

Judge Peter Cahill wrote that "continuing" publicity from the attorneys in the case could create an unfair trial.
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, right, walks out of the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility on Monday afternoon June 20, 2020, in Mi

Fired officer Lane's attorney seeks dismissal of charges in Floyd's death

Transcripts of body-worn camera footage from the night George Floyd was killed and of an interview with one of the officers at the scene were also filed in court.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Derek Chauvin's wife is seeking both of their homes in her divorce petition

Family law lawyers say it's too soon to say whether the move is a ploy to protect the former Minneapolis police officer's assets.
Demonstrators with sparklers marched peacefully through downtown Minneapolis late Saturday.

Minneapolis July 4th protesters say they're marching for justice for all

Two Minneapolis events call for racial equity and an overhaul of police.
Former officer Tou Thao, videotaped on Chicago Avenue with George Floyd.

Third fired Minneapolis police officer charged in Floyd death is out of jail

Tou Thao faces a court appearance on Sept. 11.
George Floyd's aunt Angela Harrelson of Minneapolis, left, and his uncle Selwyn Jones of Gettysburg, S.D., spoke at a news conference outside the Henn

Change of venue possible in George Floyd case, judge warns

The Hennepin County judge presiding over the four officers' cases warned that public officials speaking out about the case are pushing it toward a change of venue if they continue to do so.
Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder of George Floyd, who died after b

In trial over George Floyd's killing, both defense, prosecution face unique challenges

With four former officers charged and the killing recorded on video, some attorneys say "the blue wall of silence" could be broken.
Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Judge denies audiovisual coverage of hearings for former officers charged in George Floyd killing

A Hennepin County judge on Friday rejected an unusual request to allow cameras in the courtroom filed by attorneys representing four former Minneapolis officers charged…

Former Minneapolis youth basketball coach charged in second sexual assault on child

Former grade-school teacher is accused of assaulting a second boy.
Rory Amsler, left, and Trevor Amsler

Charges: Minneapolis brothers destroyed property inside Third Precinct

One brother also allegedly recorded video while they were inside the police station.
Montez T. Lee

Rochester man, Andover woman charged with arson following Floyd protests

Anonymous source sent videos allegedly showing him committing crimes.
East Phillips neighborhood group sues Mpls. to stop project over concerns for residents of color

East Phillips neighborhood group sues Mpls. to stop project over concerns for residents of color

Lawsuit says it would disproportionately harm communities of color.

Minneapolis youth basketball coach charged with sexual assault of preteen boy

Aaron J. Hjermstad had worked at a Minneapolis charter school and coached with a youth outreach group.

Charges: St. Paul man shot, killed in Minneapolis after going to sister's aid in fight

A 23-year-old man is charged with one count of second-degree murder with intent. His girlfriend was fighting with the victim's sister at the time of the shooting.
The Lowry Avenue bridge in Minneapolis closed for about five hours Monday as police investigate a fatal crash at Lowry Avenue and Marshall Street NE.

Charges: Minneapolis man sped, ran red light before causing fiery fatal crash

Abdullahi A. Mohamed, 22, was charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and two counts of criminal vehicular operation.
A photo of an arson suspect sought by ATF officials over the fire at a Wells Fargo branch.

Federal authorities seek help identifying arson suspects

The ATF released photos and video of several suspects who allegedly set fire to a police station, a school, a bank and a grocery store.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

$1.25M bail set for Chauvin in Floyd death

The former Minneapolis police officer made his first court appearance by video feed, handcuffed in an orange jumpsuit sitting at a small conference room table.
The booking mugs of the three former Minneapolis officers charged Wednesday with aiding and abetting murder. From left are J Alexander Kueng, Thomas L

Two fired Mpls. officers charged in Floyd's death cast blame on Derek Chauvin

First appearances are typically procedural, but Thursday's hearings for three fired Minneapolis police officers quickly turned contentious.
The booking mugs of the three former Minneapolis officers charged Wednesday with aiding and abetting murder. From left are J Alexander Kueng, Thomas L

Four fired Mpls. officers booked, charged in killing of George Floyd

A more serious charge of second-degree murder was added to the counts against Derek Chauvin. Three other fired Minneapolis officers are now booked in jail, charged with aiding and abetting murder.
George Floyd

A timeline of events leading to George Floyd's death as outlined in charging documents

Complaint: "Mr. Floyd told the officers that he was not resisting but he did not want to get in the back seat and was claustrophobic."
Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington on Sunday said authorities had intercepted plateless cars, which often had their lights turned off and wind

Charges: Minnesotans drove plateless car, carried guns, hammer during protest

The case conflicts with authorities' initial warnings that "outside agitators" were largely responsible for the havoc that trailed protests.
About a hundred largely peaceful protesters were met with less-lethal ammunition from police at Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue on Saturday.

Charges: St. Paul man fired multiple gunshots at Minneapolis police

No officers were injured in the incident in the wake of protests for George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody May 25.
Attorney Benjamin Crump accused the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office of going to “great length” to obscure the cause of George Floyd’

Attorney for George Floyd's family blasts county autopsy, calls for peaceful protests

Attorney Benjamin Crump said Hennepin County went to "great length" to obscure the cause of George Floyd's death.
George Floyd

BCA sought access to police training, medical records in Floyd death

State investigators looking into the killing of George Floyd have requested the training records of all the former Minneapolis officers who were present, as well…