Chinnawat Vue’s three minor children spoke at their father’s sentencing hearing Tuesday, asking him why he killed their mother seven years ago.
Vue, 31, was found guilty of first-degree murder in January and is facing 26-years-to-life in prison for Xia Vang’s death. Police said he stabbed his estranged wife 101 times on March 8, 2016. Vue testified that he was angry and upset that his 22-year-old wife was seeing another man and wanted out of their six-year marriage.
After stabbing his wife, Vue tried killing himself, but failed.
On Tuesday, he sat in the courtroom next to his attorney and a Hmong interpreter, staring intently at each one of his minor children as they spoke briefly before Judge Jonathan Conklin.
Conklin agreed to allow Vue’s children to speak, despite pushing his final sentencing date to April 26, at the request of his attorney Phillip Billington.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Elana Smith said several family members were prepared to speak.
Three children testify
Vue’s oldest son, now 13, told the judge he’s been depressed and sad since the death of his mother. And he still has questions.
“I always wondered why my dad killed my mother,” he said softly. “I have been upset about that.”
Vue’s daughter, 11, also said she wonders why their mother was taken away from them.
“I still dream about my mother and him,” she said.
The youngest child, who witnessed the murder, was not ready to absolve his father for what he did.
“Dad I don’t forgive you for what you did to our mom,” the 10-year-old said. “But it is hard when you don’t have a parent around us.”
Vang’s mother said she brought the children to court so they would have one last chance to see him before he is sent to prison.
“I will not come back to see him anymore because he and I are no longer related,” said Ge Her. “He is a stranger to me.”
Vue responded to his children by telling them he was sorry for what he did and that he loved them. He also urged his eldest to look after his younger siblings.
“I know what I did to your mom and all I can say is sorry,” Vue said. “I know I shouldn’t do it, but it happened and I am sorry for what I did.”