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St. Paul teen charged with killing his uncle after fight in alleyway

The 16-year-old is facing one count of second-degree murder.
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A St. Paul boy who told police that he killed his uncle during a confrontation has now been charged with the man's murder.

The charges stem from a Sunday, July 26, incident in which police were called to respond to a fight happening behind a house on the 600 block of Edmund Avenue. 

According to a news release about the incident, officers arrived to find "a gravely injured man" lying on his back, and though they rendered aid and summoned paramedics, the victim died where he was found.

He had suffered "severe injuries to his face and the back of his head," a criminal complaint says. He was later identified as 45-year-old St. Paul resident Lay Hae.  

A teenage suspect was arrested at the scene and brought in for questioning; now, prosecutors are pursuing a second-degree murder charge against him.

According to the complaint, officers initially believed the teen to be another assault victim; however, when asked who had committed the assault, he told officers it was him. He also identified Hae as his uncle.

Later, after being informed of his Miranda rights, the complaint says, he told investigators at St. Paul police headquarters that the two had been at the house of the suspect's "grandpa," where the teen was "mad" at his uncle for drinking with the older man.

The teen also told investigators that he followed Hae home, attacking him in the alley; the two grappled, and Hae eventually ended up in a chokehold.

Authorities say the suspect then used two hands to choke Hae, and admitted that he tried to kill the man because he was worried that if he let Hae live, "he would have someday gone back after" the boy. 

Hae leaves behind a wife and two young sons, the complaint notes. His death was St. Paul's 19th homicide of the year. 

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