Altoona murder case will go to trial - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Altoona murder case will go to trial


Eau Claire County (WQOW)- A man authorities believe murdered his girlfriend in the home they shared in Altoona appeared in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

"There were two bones that were fractured in her neck/throat area," remembers Jesse James with the Altoona Police Department.

Prosecutors were able to prove there is enough evidence for Ying Xiong to go to trial in the death of his girlfriend Panhia Vue.  Only two people testified in court.  The first was James, who discovered Vue's body in a shed behind an Altoona home that the two shared.

"It appeared that the body had been burned from her waist-line up towards her head and face area," James recalls.

Xiong was arrested in Mosinee in Marathon County following a foot chase with police.  Authorities found more than $19,000 on him, along with jewelry they say belonged to Vue and 10 sandwiches.  The defense tried to argue that what was found was not relevant, but the judge didn't agree.

"Unless you are at a sandwich eating contest, you don't have ten sandwiches unless you need them over a period of time," points out Judge Benjamin Proctor.  "Certainly, inferentially I can find that the food was part of a plan to leave the area."

The second person to testify works for the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Department.   He says Xiong suffered a seizure while in jail and was then taken to a local hospital.

"He told me he goes I'm sorry for what I did, but she did something stupid," explains Anthony Hovland.

Xiong has been charged with first degree intentional homicide.  The defense tried in vain to show the prosecution didn't provide enough evidence for the case to go to trial.  But at the end of the 45-minute hearing, the judge sided with the prosecution.

"The evidence is more than sufficient in my mind to find probable cause that a felony was in fact committed and the felony is homicide," Proctor says.  "The probability is that the defendant was the perpetrator."

Now that the case will go to trial, the next step is an arraignment.  A date has yet to be set.

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