Kao Xiong, the father of a 4-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed his younger brother last December was sentenced Thursday morning to 10 years' probation and 30 days in jail. The sentencing was significantly less than the four-year prison maximum that could have been handed down.
Xiong has already served his jail time, but while he's a free man he's still a grieving father.
"In my lifetime, I never thought this tragedy would happen in my family. I have suffered for the last several days -- I don't want to be human due to the loss of beautiful son, a handsome son," Xiong said.
His youngest son, Neegnco, 2, was shot in the chest by his 4-year-old brother with a loaded handgun that was placed between a pillow and a mattress in a bedroom. The gun was one of eight that police found in the families south Minneapolis home.
Xiong was found guilty in May of two felony counts of second-degree manslaughter and two gross-misdemeanor counts of child endangerment. He was acquitted of a third gross-misdemeanor child endangerment count.
Xiong will also participate in community service specifically to teach his Hmong community proper gun safety and storage.
This plea deal is a huge departure from the recommended guidelines for second-degree manslaughter and child endangerment -- he could have gone to prison for four years.
The judge and Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman made sure to recognize that Xiong admitted he was responsible, even if it came after trial, which is what prosecutors wanted more than prison time. They agreed it would also be fundamentally unfair for the 4-year-old brother to go through life thinking it was his responsibility. Xiong admitted it was his own.