DATE: September 6, 2019
CASE: Jerry Vang (Case #17FE013719)
PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Allison Dunham, Homicide Unit
The Honorable Steve White sentenced Jerry Vang to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On August 5, 2019, a jury convicted Vang of the first-degree murder of Padao Vue with the special circumstance that Vang committed the murder during the commission of a kidnapping. Vang was also convicted of kidnapping, domestic violence, two counts of making criminal threats while personally using a firearm, and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
In December 2014, Jerry Vang and the victim started dating. Vang began to physically assault the victim, beating her with his fists. The victim did not report the abuse to police out of fear. In February 2016, Vang and the victim were married, and soon had a baby. In September 2016, Vang pointed a gun at the victim and the baby while threatening to kill them. In November 2016, he again pointed a gun at the victim and threatened to kill her, the baby and commit suicide. The victim ran away both times but did not report either incident to police.
On February 3, 2017, CHP officers responded to the intersection of 65th St. and 53rd Ave. on a report of a female in the roadway. The victim was found on the ground on the 65th St. Expressway. She had obvious head trauma, road rash and was not breathing. The victim was taken to a hospital, where she died a few hours later. Vang told CHP officers that earlier that evening the victim left the residence after an argument, and Vang pursued her in his truck. Vang claimed the victim got into his truck and then jumped out onto the road while he was driving. Initially, her death was ruled an accident.
In March 2017, the investigation was reopened. Interviews of family members and information from the victim’s cell phone, email and social media revealed a history of domestic violence and the victim’s fear of Vang. Photographic evidence and forensic analysis conducted by the District Attorney’s Crime Lab of the victim’s fingernail scrapings recovered during the autopsy revealed Vang’s DNA. This evidence demonstrated a violent struggle occurred between Vang and the victim just prior to her death.
During the subsequent investigation, Vang began dating another woman and accused her of fraudulently using his dead wife’s credit card. He told her she “would be the next one and he is not afraid to kill” as he strangled her and placed a gun to her head. The victim begged for her life. She suffered bruising around her neck from the strangulation.
Vang has prior strike convictions for making a criminal threat and domestic violence.