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Yang v. Roy

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

February 25, 2014

Charles Yang, Petitioner - Appellant
v.
Tom Roy, Commissioner of Corrections, Respondent - Appellee

Submitted November 20, 2013.

Page 623

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.

For Charles Yang, Petitioner - Appellant: Daniel Aaron Christians, HAWKINS & ANDERSON LAW FIRM, Minneapolis, MN.

Charles Yang, Petitioner - Appellant, Pro se, MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Bayport, MN.

For Tom Roy, Commissioner of Corrections, Respondent - Appellee: Matthew Frank, Assistant Attorney General, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Appeals Division, Saint Paul, MN; Robert D. Goodell, Assistant County Attorney, ANOKA COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Anoka, MN.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, MELLOY and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 624

KELLY, Circuit Judge.

A Minnesota jury found Charles Yang guilty of twelve counts of murder. After appealing the verdict to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Charles Yang filed a habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, alleging violations of his Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause rights during his trial. The district court[1] denied

Page 625

the petition with prejudice and on the merits. With jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2253, we affirm.

I. Background

On February 3, 2005, a pool hall fight between the largely Hmong gang " Menace of Destruction" (" MOD" ) and a group of Tibetan men resulted in two men killed and four wounded. The sequence of events is set out in greater detail in the district court opinion, but the following describes the facts as relevant here. Earlier that day, MOD members made hostile comments to some of the Tibetans in the parking lot of a pool hall in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. That night, at least one of the Tibetans confronted one of the MOD members in the pool hall. A fight began inside the hall, but both groups soon ran out the back door and into the alley nearby. The district court found that at least twelve and possibly twenty gun shots were fired. Once the gunfire started, police officers came quickly to the pool hall, and some stopped a car that was leaving the area. MOD member Sai Vang was driving the car, with petitioner Yang in the passenger seat and Yang's brother Grogan Yang (also an MOD member) in the back seat. Police found two guns under the driver's seat and a.357 ...


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