Afternoon Newsletter

March 14, 2013

Atwater man accused of west Modesto killings to use insanity defense

An Atwater man accused of killing two people in a west Modesto home in 2009 will plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

An Atwater man accused of killing two people in a west Modesto home in 2009 will plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

Tou Xiong appeared briefly Thursday morning in Stanislaus County Superior Court, where his hearing was continued until next week.

Defense attorney Ruben Villalobos said he and prosecutor John Baker had conferred previously with Judge Scott Steffen about entering an “NGI” plea. This morning, Judge John Whiteside substituted in Steffen’s Department 7 courtroom.

Whiteside put the matter off until March 22, when Steffen will be back in court.

Xiong is accused in the July, 2009 shooting deaths of Gao Sheng Her, 23, of Merced and Nhia Yang, 27, of Modesto at the home in the 1700 block of Radley Place. A third person also was shot but recovered from his wounds.

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