Kou Yang sentenced to 18 years in prison in Sheboygan Co.

SHEBOYGAN -- A Sheboygan County judge sentenced 21-year-old Kou Yang to 18 years in prison and 12 years of extended supervision on Monday, September 24th. This, following his conviction on homicide charges.

A jury convicted Yang in July in the shooting death of 20-year-old Pheng Lee -- a UW-Milwaukee student. The incident occurred back on January 8, 2012 in the parking lot of Walmart in Sheboygan.  A second man who was shot was wounded in the incident. During his trial, Yang argued self defense in the shooting, but the jury didn’t buy it.

That night, Lee and three others approached Yang's car. Yang and Chenglung Moua exchanged words before Yang began shooting -- striking Lee and Moua.

In court on Monday, five members of Lee's family spoke to the court. They showed a video of their loved one when addressing the judge. They talked about Lee's ambition of finishing school at UW-Milwaukee and starting a business. It was Lee's hope to become the first millionaire in his family and be able to help his parents retire.

Yang himself apologized to the family.

"It was never my intention to have this occur. But, I felt my wife and myself were in imminent danger," Yang said.

Yang's older sister told Yang he squandered his life.

"I don't know what went wrong with you. We're supposed to study and work hard to do better for ourselves," Yang's sister said.

Prosecutors recommended 27 years of confinement on the three charges against Yang. But in the end, the judge settled for just 18 years in prison. Yang could be out of prison when he's about 40 years old.

Related stories: