Columbus woman charged with second-degree murder

Nou Lee accused in April 1 death of Vadnais Heights man


Clint Riese
News Editor

Second-degree murder charges have been filed against a Columbus woman in the April 1 death of a Vadnais Heights man.

Nou Zong Lee, of 16230 Cornell St. NE, faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of killing Doua N.M.N. Yang. The body of the 50-year-old was discovered last Monday night in a cul-de-sac on Camp 3 Road in Columbus.

Anoka County Attorney’s Office filed the charge this Monday, April 8, in Anoka County District Court. Anoka County District Court Judge Daniel O’Fallon set bail for Lee, 34, at $100,000. Her next court appearance is scheduled for May 22.

“This is a complex case, with an ongoing investigation,” stated Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo.

The count states that Lee caused Yang’s death intentionally, though without premeditation, while Yang possessed a firearm.

Lee and her husband, Teng N.M.N. Vue, 42, were taken into custody last Wednesday on charges of aiding and abetting murder in the second degree.

From the Complaint

The following is from the criminal complaint filed this Monday by Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chris Johnson:

Deputies responding to a call at 9:38 p.m. April 1 found Yang obviously deceased next to his car. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene and concluded that head trauma was due to gunshot wounds. No gun or ammunition was found in the area. It was believed that Yang had not been deceased for long.

An examination the next day revealed that Yang was shot five times. Two projectiles were recovered from his body.

The sheriff’s department crime scene unit observed blood trailing from the passenger side of Yang’s vehicle to the driver’s side, where his body was found. Additional information led to the belief that Yang was shot while outside of his vehicle.

Detectives interviewed Yang’s family and learned that he came home from work around 6:30 p.m. April 1, showered, chatted on Facebook and left at an undetermined time.

From April 2-5, detectives pulled information from Yang’s Facebook account. It was found that on the day he was killed he exchanged private messages with a user. The conversation indicated they were in a romantic relationship and had met previously. The messages from that day also indicated Yang arranged to meet the other user at an undetermined location.

The other user’s Facebook records were released April 3 through a search warrant. It was found the account was deactivated April 2 after the user had removed Yang as a Facebook friend. An IP address used to log into the account was found to be assigned to account held by Nou Lee. The Columbus address attached to the account was approximately 2.7 miles from where Yang’s body was found. Various other records confirmed Lee’s residence at that address.

Detectives executed a search warrant at that address April 4. Lee and Vue were inside and taken into custody.

Lee confirmed the Facebook account was hers and that she wrote the messages to Yang but denied ever meeting him or arranging to do so. She said her and Vue picked their daughter up from school April 1, returned home and did not leave the house for the rest of the night.

Vue said he did not know of the messages between his wife and Yang. He was shown the messages and said he was angry. Vue said their daughter stayed home from school April 1 and he returned from work at 6 p.m. Detectives confirmed that the daughter was not in school April 1.

In a later interview, Vue denied responsibility for Yang’s death and said he would not have confronted Yang because he is weak from meningitis.

Lee told detectives she had a second Facebook account. On April 5, detectives determined Yang sent two messages to that account at 8:01 p.m. on the night he died.