Cha Vang was a 30-year-old Hmong man from Green Bay, who was murdered by James Nichols on January 6, 2007.[1] Cha Vang was found shot and stabbed, his corpse hidden, in the woods near Peshtigo, Wisconsin. Nichols admitted to killing Vang, insisting the killing was self-defense.[2] On March 19, 2007, Nichols pleaded not guilty to the charges of first degree intentional homicide, felony possession of a weapon, and hiding a corpse.

James Allen Nichols
Born(1978-05-27)May 27, 1978
Criminal statusIncarcerated
Conviction(s)Second-degree intentional homicide
Hiding a corpse
Felon in possession of a firearm
Criminal penalty60 years

On October 6, 2007, a jury found Nichols guilty of a lesser charge of second degree intentional homicide and sentenced him to 60 years in prison. "The message sent to the Hmong community is that someone can shoot a Hmong hunter and not get the maximum sentence," said Tou Ger Xiong, spokesman for the Coalition for Community Relations in St. Paul, Minnesota.[2][3][4]

Evidence and motivation


Mark Witeck, who performed the autopsy on Cha Vang, testified that Vang was shot from about 50 feet away by a shotgun, and stabbed six times in his face and neck.[5]

Attention to possible racial motives has been brought due to some of Nichols' own statements. Nichols has been quoted on record saying Hmong people are bad, mean and "kill everything and that they go for anything that moves."[4] Nichols' employer has testified that two months before the killing, Nichols mentioned that he would have killed a Hmong hunter that he had seen in the woods if he had been carrying a shotgun rather than an air-rifle.

Effects of the killing


Reports of racial tension in the forests of Wisconsin during hunting seasons had been reported since Chai Soua Vang (no relation), a Hmong hunter, was convicted of killing six Caucasian hunters two years before Cha Vang's murder.[1] Besides the immediate effects felt by family and friends at the death of Cha Vang, the killing stressed the already-tense relations between the Hmong community and predominantly Caucasian hunters in northern Wisconsin.[4]


  1. ^ a b "'Accidental Meeting' Led to Slaying of Hmong Hunter, Sheriff Says". The Index-Journal. January 9, 2007. p. 6. Retrieved December 9, 2014 – via  
  2. ^ a b "Hunter found guilty in death of Hmong man". CNN. Associated Press. October 6, 2007. Archived from the original on August 13, 2007. Retrieved October 6, 2007.
  3. ^ "Hunter Sentences for Killing Hmong Man". The Index-Journal. November 29, 2007. p. 5. Retrieved December 9, 2014 – via  
  4. ^ a b c "James Nichols Sentenced to 69 Years". 620 AM WTMJ. Associated Press. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  5. ^ file, Jim Matthews / AP (28 November 2007). "Hunter gets 69 years for killing immigrant". Retrieved 2020-01-04.