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DATE: April 26, 2016
CASE: Kouei Saetern
PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Thien Ho, Homicide Unit
Fifty-three-year-old Kouei Saetern was convicted by jury of three counts of first-degree murder. The jury also found true a gun use and a multiple murder special circumstance allegation.
On November 8, 2010, Saetern got into an argument with his wife, Chio Chong Saechao, and began beating her. Saetern’s adult sons, Jerry Wang Saetern and Vern Cheo Saetern, held him on the ground to stop the beating. After the sons released him, Saetern retrieved a Russian SKS rifle, loaded it and shot his wife and his two sons, killing all three. Saetern also shot at his 12-year-old daughter, but missed as she ran out of the house with her 6-year-old sister and cousin. Saetern tried to flee the scene, but responding deputies apprehended him in his garage with the murder weapon.
Saetern was previously found incompetent to stand trial and sent to Napa Mental State Hospital on two different occasions. After several years at Napa, Saetern was returned to Sacramento and found competent to stand trial. After the jury found Saetern guilty, the court found Saetern was legally sane at the time of the murders.
Saetern faces a maximum potential sentence of 150 years to life in prison, plus life without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is set for May 20, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. in Department 41 before the Honorable Helena Gweon.
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