Teen found guilty in beating, robbery of
MERRILL, Wis., March 1, 2002, Friday
BODY: A judge convicted a teen-ager Friday of helping to beat, rob and take hostage
the leader of a
Hmong organization and his family.
Pheng Lor, 18, entered an Alford plea on seven charges - maintaining his
innocence but acknowledging that prosecutors have overwhelming evidence against
Lor confessed to the crime to Milwaukee and Merrill police officers, said
Lincoln County District Attorney Shawn Mutter.
Lor was 16 in December 2000 when he and four others allegedly talked their way
into the Merrill home of Abraham Yi Vang, 55, executive director of the Wausau
Area Hmong Mutual Association.
Inside the home, the group brandished handguns and tied up Vang, his wife, Yer
Vang, and their 7-year-old son, Christopher, as they ransacked the house, court
They kicked and beat the Vangs, sending Abraham Vang to a hospital with a
broken rib and bruises to his head. The complaint said they also stole 20 to 30
Christmas presents, jewelry, the family van and money.
Lor was waived into adult court in March 2001 and was found guilty Friday of
armed robbery, theft, armed burglary, criminal damage to property,
substantial battery, false imprisonment and vehicle theft. He could be
sentenced to as much as 165 years in prison.
Two other men, David Cheng, 18, and Lue Her, 22, both of Milwaukee, are
scheduled for trial in May on charges in the case.
Vang Her, 19, of Two Rivers, has not been scheduled for trial.
Ra Thao, 16, of Milwaukee, was waived into adult court and found guilty in May
2001 of armed robbery, armed burglary, criminal damage to property, and false
imprisonment. He will be sentenced April 2.