MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) – A jury on Friday found a white former sawmill worker guilty in the shooting and stabbing death of a Hmong immigrant with whom he crossed paths while both were hunting squirrels in northern Wisconsin.

The jury found James Nichols guilty of second-degree intentional homicide in the death of Cha Vang, a case that had rekindled racial tensions in northern Wisconsin, where a Hmong deer hunter fatally shot six white hunters three years ago.

Nichols, 29, of Peshtigo, had been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, but the judge gave jurors an alternative of the lesser charge that carries a 60-year prison term instead of life.

Nichols also was convicted on charges of hiding a corpse and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Nichols told investigators he and Vang got into a dispute while hunting separately Jan. 5 in the Peshtigo Wildlife Area. He acknowledged shooting and stabbing Vang, but said he did it in self-defense.

AP-ES-10-05-07 2147EDT


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