A Minneapolis man whose 4-year-old son fatally shot his 2-year-old brother with a loaded gun left under a pillow took responsibility for the incident and won some leniency from a Hennepin County district judge.
Judge Daniel Moreno sentenced Kao Chongsua Xiong to 10 years probation and 100 hours of community service, directing him to devote the time to educating the Hmong community about gun safety. That was a far more lenient sentence than the four-year prison sentence that a jury recommended last month after it found the father guilty of felony manslaughter, the Star Tribune reported.
"Your Honor, it's my fault," Kao Xiong told the judge as his family stood nearby, his wife weeping, the Pioneer Press reported.
"What I had my doubts about is your ability to understand and appreciate the gravity of the danger you placed your children in,” Moreno said, the Star Tribune reported. “Unfortunately for you, it took a long, grueling, graphic, tragic trial for you to understand this. I believe finally you have accepted responsibility.”
Xiong's lawyer Steve Meshbesher said his client was genuinely sorry, WCCO reported. “He is not able to hoodwink anyone. We’re talking about a law abiding fellow who is taking responsibility for his actions.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said prosecutors accepted the sentence because Kao Xiong accepted responsibility. Freeman was almost brought to tears, KARE 11 reported: