Death In The Family

First Khoua Her asked the clans for help. Then she went to the courts. By the time police found her six children dead, she'd run out of places to turn.

On May 29, four days before Hang told police about the alleged gun incident, Khoua Her filed for an order for protection against her ex-husband. According to Ramsey County District Court records, she gave her residence as 888 Desoto Street and noted that she had temporary custody of 5-year-old A-ee and 4-year-old Tang Kee; Hang, she said, was living on Timberlake with the other children.

In a sworn statement given through an interpreter at the time, Her asserted that Hang had "threatened to kill her on almost a daily basis for the last year." She also alleged that he would "push her when he is very upset, usually about once a month." On May 24, Her claimed, Hang had shown up at the house where she was staying and asked her to come back to him, threatening to poison himself if she did not. When she refused, she stated, he "put poison in his mouth." When Her called 911, Hang took off and called her from home.

According to St. Paul police records, officers were dispatched to the house on Timberlake that night and found Hang sleeping on the floor. "He said he was depressed because his wife didn't love him anymore," the officers wrote. "He was crying and told us he had taken some pills...He told us he thought he wanted to kill himself." Hang complained of a headache and dizziness, and the officers took him to Regions Hospital for treatment.

Janet Hamline

When the order for protection came up for a court hearing on June 20, neither Her nor Hang showed up, and the matter was dismissed. In a subsequent court filing, Her claimed Hang had held her captive in the house that day.

On July 19 of last year, Her called St. Paul police from a gas-station pay phone alleging that her ex-husband had assaulted her. According to the police report, she told officers that she and Hang had been arguing and that he'd said, "I'm going to kill you if you ever leave me." Hang, she added, "pulled her hair, pushed her head into the wall, and began punching her on top of her head." The officers noted that Her showed them "small scratches on the right side of her neck" as well as "several broken nails on both hands, and bruising on both left and right knees." Her also told police that Hang had hit her before but had never been arrested.

When police went to the Timberlake address, Hang gave them a drastically different version of events. Her had "started it," he said, and he displayed "minor scratches on his chest. She pinched him, and she had a knife, so he pushed her to the ground." The officers arrested Hang and booked him for domestic assault. No charges were ever filed.

Within days of that incident, Her fled with her two youngest children to the home of her birth mother in Pontiac, Mich. That same day, Hang filed a complaint with St. Paul police alleging that his ex-wife had taken his green card and Social Security card.

Accounts vary as to why Her left the state. Kou Som contends she ran off with a man. "I was told she moved to Michigan because she had a boyfriend there," he says. "And when things didn't work out, she came back." But both Mee and Phoua insist that Her left because she was terrified of her ex-husband, and returned more than a month later because he continued to harass her at a distance. "He kept calling, threatening to kill her mother and anyone who dated or married her," Mee says Her told her. "He didn't want anyone else to have her."

In November Her took a job with a Hmong-owned firm called Interpreter Transportation Services Inc. (ITS). Less than a month later, she filed for a restraining order in Ramsey County District Court against her supervisor and the owner of the company.

According to Her's affidavit in the case, on her first day at work, the supervisor took her to lunch and "touched my body parts which I did not want him to." The same thing happened the next day, she alleged. Two days after that, the affidavit continued, on Thanksgiving Day, she was on call when the supervisor paged her, picked her up, drove her to a park, and raped her: "I told him to stop many times, but he never listened and continued raping me. After he finished raping me, I told him that I was not happy with what he had done to me."

Her also alleged in the affidavit that two days later the owner of the company asked her to go to a marketing conference with him; when he drove her back to her car that night, she charged, "He asked me to marry him as his second wife, at the same time he also touched my body parts stating 'how juicy my body looked.'

"I told him to stop many times," she alleged. "He kept touching me and asking me to be his second wife. I totally don't understand why he did this to me. I told him that 'you already have a wife and I don't want to marry you.' I got out and went to my car." Her didn't go to work the day after Thanksgiving; the following Monday her supervisor called and told her she was fired.

« Previous Page
Next Page »