Convicted Oroville gang member sentenced to 86 years-to-life in prison for murder

Feb 11, 2016 9:58 PM by David McVicker

A gang member arrested last year after a drive by shooting in Oroville was convicted of murder in an Butte County courtroom Thursday for more than 86 years in prison.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced Oroville gang member Ker Vang, 24, was convicted of second degree murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and committing the crimes to benefit a criminal street gang.

On Oct. 6, Vang shot at two different vehicles on Highway 70 in Oroville.

In one vehicle, two people were struck by gunfire. The passenger, Jar Lee, 19, of Oroville was struck in the head and killed. Lee was a student at Butte College. The driver, Cheng Thao, 20 of Oroville was struck by gunfire in the cheek and survived after extensive surgery. Cheng was a student at Chico State University.

The two occupants in a second vehicle were unharmed.

Ramsey used the case as an example of the gang violence in Butte County and its need to end.

“This tragic case graphically demonstrates the senseless waste of gang violence,” he said. “By all accounts the young men shot in this case were good kids, working hard to make a better future for themselves and had avoided gangs.”

Vang told detectives he did not recognize the victims and therefore concluded the victims were not from Oroville and were probably out-of-town gang members.

Thirty-six hours before the shooting, five members of Vang’s gang had been arrested for a car-to-car shooting in Chico which occurred near that city’s Hmong New Year’s Festival.

None of the four victims in the Oroville shooting had any known gang ties.


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