David Popp Convicted Of Murder
By Amy Doeun
On March 6th, 2016 David Popp got a gun and brought it to his Milwaukee, WI apartment building on 92nd and Beloit. He shot three of his neighbors in the head – Phia Vue, Mai K. Xiong and Jesus Manso-Perez. From the beginning his motivation has been called into question with local Fox6 News asking bluntly, “Insane or racist?”
Phia Vue and Mai K. Xiong were a married couple with four young children ages 4-16 at the time of their death. “I don’t know why someone would have hatred against them and would, you know, just kill them for no reason. I can’t understand that,” said True Vue, sister of Phia Vue, told Fox6 News.
Popp was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide for the deaths.
In September of 2017 Popp, “pleaded no contest to three counts of first degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted first degree intentional homicide – and was convicted of the crimes. He essentially pleaded guilty but not guilty due to mental disease or defect,” reported Fox6 News.
Monday, November 6, 2017 Popp finally went to trial again to determine whether he was, “insane or racist.” There were 13 jurors; of those 13, two were from minority communities. The prosecutor requested that the media not be allowed in the room during the trial. However there, “was a large presence from the Hmong community,” at the trial reported Fox6 News.
Fox6 said, “Many in the courtroom watched the proceedings with skepticism. Some from the Hmong community believe Popp was racist, not insane when the crime occurred.” A psychiatrist diagnosed him as a “delusional schizophrenic who believed God told him to get a gun on March 6th, 2016, or he was racist.”
The trial began on Monday, November 6th. The jury went to deliberation Thursday, November 9th and decided that Popp was insane at the time of the crime. “He was able to conform his behavior to the law.” It is not clear whether he will serve a sentence in a mental institution or prison.
“It’s up in the air. It’s a very novel area of the law, and the judge did not enter a judgement in the verdict,” Chris Hartley, Popp’s attorney said.
Fifteen year old daughter of Vue and Xiong, Isabel Vue, said, “I don’t know much about trials, verdicts and lawyers, but I do know that no matter what happens today, nothing can ever bring my mom and dad back.”
She described the day her parents were shot according to Fox6, “The family was watching a movie when we heard a gunshot in the hallway outside their apartment. She says the family ran to hide in a back bedroom and then heard the front door breaking down. Vue says Popp appeared with an assault rifle and took her father to the bathroom where he was shot. He later killed her mother.”
The next phase of the trial isn’t scheduled until January. Popp remains in custody.