Crime - Sacto 911

Man found guilty in Sacramento slayings of wife, two sons in 2010

From left, Vern Cheo Saetern, 19, his mother Chio Chong Saechao, 46, and his brother Jerry Wang Saetern, 22, were slain in their Home Country Way home in Sacramento on Nov. 8, 2010. Kouei Wang Saetern, 53, was found guilty of murder in their deaths.
From left, Vern Cheo Saetern, 19, his mother Chio Chong Saechao, 46, and his brother Jerry Wang Saetern, 22, were slain in their Home Country Way home in Sacramento on Nov. 8, 2010. Kouei Wang Saetern, 53, was found guilty of murder in their deaths. Sacramento Bee file

A man accused of killing his wife and two sons was convicted by a jury Monday on three counts of murder in Sacramento Superior Court.

Kouei Wang Saetern, 53, was found guilty of the Nov. 8, 2010, shooting deaths of his wife, Chio Chong Saechao, 46, and their sons Jerry Wang Saetern, 22, and Vern Cheo Saetern, 19.

Saetern had been found mentally incompetent to stand trial in 2011 and ordered to Napa State Hospital. After several years at the hospital, Saetern was returned to Sacramento and was found competent.

After the guilty verdict, the court found Saetern was legally sane at the time of the killings, according to a news release from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

Shortly after the slayings, Saetern told a Sacramento Bee reporter in a jailhouse interview that he saw his wife turn into a wolf and his sons’ faces blacken on the night he shot and killed them.

Saetern said in 2010 that he and wife were in bed in their Home Country Way home, and that he wanted to have sex with her but she refused him.

He said he grew angry and pushed her out of their bedroom. He said she later returned to the room with their two sons.

He said his sons had darkened faces and looked like animals to him. They towered over him, and he was scared, he said. When they finally released him, he said he had to shoot them.

Sheriff’s detectives told The Bee that the couple’s argument had started in their bedroom, but they did not divulge specifics of the argument. They said the fight spilled into the hallway, where the sons intervened on their mother’s behalf.

Detectives said Kouei Saetern was enraged, retrieved a rifle from a hallway closet and began shooting.

Saechao opened the front door so the couple’s two daughters, ages 12 and 6, and a 13-year-old nephew could escape. Prosecutors said Saetern also shot at the 12-year-old daughter. The children ran to a neighbor’s house for help.

Saetern’s sentencing is scheduled for May 20.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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