Advocacy for Domestic Violence by Hmong Advocate
Context: The mainstream media and community media has not adequately covered cases such as this. This case occurred in February 2017 and at the time Padao Vue’s death was ruled an accident by the California Highway Patrol. Her death was treated as a vehicle accident and not as an homicide. Her sister and specific interest group pushed for the District Attorney and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department to investigate further.
Today August 5, 2019 in People v. Jerry Vang Sacramento County Superior Court Case No. 17FE013719 Jerry Vang was found guilty by a group of jurors in Sacramento County Superior Court as to Count 1, Penal Code 187 (a) Murder in the first degree during the commission of a serious felony crime (kidnapping). Jerry committed murder of Padao Vue who was his wife and the mother of his child, on February 2, 2017 as he forcibly kidnapped and violently beat her. In addition, the jurors found Jerry guilty of six other felony counts, including kidnapping, two charges of criminal threats, two charges of possession of a firearm, and infliction of corporal injury to spouse. Domestic violence victims of Jerry’s also appeared during the trial to testify as to his beatings and violent behavior towards them.
Jerry Vang is scheduled to face sentencing in September for this case. He is currently serving 18 as an accomplice in a separate murder case.
Justice was received by Padao and her family as the guilty verdicts were read in the court room. However, early intervention could have saved her life. Padao had reached out to the clan relatives for intervention but was told to return to her husband and that things will improve in the marriage. She feared for her life and even relayed to a family member that Jerry has threatened to kill her with a gun.
On February 2, 2017, Jerry did exactly what he said. He killed Padao. She was 29 and left behind a 7-month-old daughter at the time. She was a graduate student in the College of Education at CSU Sacramento. Let her story encourage domestic violence victims to speak up, leave and protect themselves. Let her story remind the Hmong clan system to reconsider forcing their daughters to return to a domestic violence predator. Let her story inspire family members and the community to speak out against domestic violence. She was a beautiful soul and will be missed.