Reporting Chris Simon
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis father who was found guilty of manslaughter and child endangerment after his son accidentally shot and killed his brother has been sentenced to serve 10 years’ probation.
The judge in the case, Judge Daniel Moreno, claimed to be impressed by Kao Xiong’s acceptance of his role in his 2-year-old son’s death, which happened last December.
Xiong wept as he apologized to the court, his family and God for the death of his son, admitting it was his entire fault.
“It’s my fault I am guilty,” Xiong said to the judge. “I am to blame that my baby is dead.”
The judge said Xiong’s sentence also includes time already served in prison.
“You are taking responsibility. I don’t want to find out later that you are hoodwinking me,” Moreno said.
Xiong’s defense attorney, Steve Meshbesher, talked to reporters outside the courtroom after the sentencing.
“He is not able to hoodwink anyone,” Meshbesher said. “We’re talking about a law abiding fellow who is taking responsibility for his actions. He took all the gun safety courses, he knows right from wrong, but he made one mistake.”
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman also spoke, saying authorities agree with the sentence.
“Because absolute key thing was that Xiong had to accept total responsibility for this. It would be fundamentally unfair for that 4-year-old to go through his life thinking it was his responsibility, because it wasn’t,” Freeman said.
Before last December’s incident, Xiong left one of his semi-automatic hand guns under his pillow, which is where the 4-year-old found it. Xiong and his wife were apparently making lunch in the lower level of the house when the accidental shooting happened.
Prosecutors said that the pistol was used in the shooting lacked a working safety and was one of several weapons police found improperly stored in the home.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Chris Simon Reports
Aside from the gun that killed the child, investigators found three handguns, three bolt-action rifles and a semi-automatic rifle in the home. Xiong told police he is an avid hunter.
As part of his probation, Xiong must take the message of gun safety to others in the Hmong community.