Oakdale man convicted in bar owner’s shooting

Yia Her

A jury found an Oakdale man guilty last week in connection with the murder of a Frogtown bar owner in June 2013.

Yia Her, 27, was charged with aiding and abetting the murder of 45-year-old Vone Moua, the owner of Malina’s Sports Bar on the 600 block of North Dale Street in St. Paul. Her also faced two counts of attempted second-degree murder against the bar’s disc jockey and another employee, who were both injured in the shooting. He was convicted of all three charges.

Her’s brother-in-law, 23-year-old Cheng Vang of Minneapolis, was charged with the same offenses. He pleaded guilty to the charges in February and has a sentencing hearing April 7.

The complaint states that around 2:15 a.m. June 9, 2013, bar employees told Her and Vang, who were playing pool, that they had to leave because the bar was closed.

According to the criminal complaint, Her complained to Moua that he had paid to play pool, but Moua told him the bar was closed. Her then became angry and made a phone call overheard by a disc jockey at the bar. Her reportedly asked the person on the other end of the call to come inside the bar, and then left the bar.

The complaint states that Her returned shortly thereafter and pounded and kicked on the door to the bar, which was locked. Moua reportedly gave a waitress permission to open the door and the two men reentered. Moua and Her got into a physical altercation, the complaint states, and people began pushing Her toward the door.

The disc jockey told police that when he came over to help, he saw Vang reach out toward Moua with something metal in his hand and then heard a gunshot. The shooter then reportedly turned toward the disc jockey, who instinctively grabbed the gun but was grazed by a bullet on his neck.

A bar employee who was there at the time of the shooting was also shot on his left side underneath his armpit.

The men fled in a small black car, and Moua’s wife tended to Moua, who had been shot in the head and later died at Regions Hospital. Moua’s wife also gave the police three spent shell casings that she’d picked up from the bar floor.

According to the complaint, Her agreed to speak to police through an interpreter, and said he’d paid $20 to rent a pool table at Malina’s Sports Bar, and that he’d gotten angry when the bar owner refused to refund his money at closing time.

Her said he’d called Vang and told him to come back to the bar and bring a gun if he had one, and that he wanted to try to scare the owner into giving him his $20 back. Her denied ever seeing Vang with a gun in the past, but said he just assumed he had one.

The aiding and abetting second-degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and the attempted second-degree murder charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Her is being held at Ramsey County Jail. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

-- Johanna Holub

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