AAP staff report
ST. PAUL (Feb. 6, 2014) — A Ramsey County Grand Jury indicted True Thao for two counts of premeditated first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree murder while committing a drive-by shooting, and two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Adlai Xiong on Oct. 26, 2013.
The Jan. 29 indictment also charge Thao on eight counts of attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Thir Xiong and Peang Lee. In total, the grand jury handed down 14 counts related to the indictment. Thao, who remains in custody at Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center, appeared in Ramsey County District Court on Thursday afternoon to be arraigned on the charges.
The Grand Jury consists of 23 persons who are randomly selected from residents to serve a six-month term. The panel meets on an as-needed basis when cases arise. At least 12 members must agree to return an indictment. Pursuant to Minnesota law, proceedings of the Grand Jury are always secret and therefore not available to the public.
According to the criminal complaint, the victims, Adlai Xiong, 27, a female companion Thir Xiong, 23, and a male companion Peang Lee, 24, were standing outside smoking and talking at the Moonshine Saloon, 1179 East Seventh Street, St. Paul on Oct. 26, 2013. Having locked themselves out of the back door the three men were walking around the building towards the front door when a black four-door Acura approached.
True Thao, 31, of St. Paul, is accused of driving the car and with killing Adlai Xiong and wounding his companions with the use of a firearm. He allegedly rolled down his window and stopped some 15 to 20 feet from the group and without saying a word produced a gun resembling a Tec-9 with an extended clip and opened fire on the group.
Police learned that members of ORB, MAB, and 612 gangs were in the bar before the shooting. The bar’s surveillance video showed there were numerous gang members inside the bar.
True Thao has a prior conviction for attempted murder in the first degree for the benefit of a gang. In 2000, Thao shot a rival gang member in retaliation for himself being beaten and received a 186-month sentence for that conviction.
If convicted the maximum possible sentence for first-degree premeditated murder is life in prison without the possibility of parole. The possible sentence for second-degree murder is 40 years in prison.