James Nichols is a felon convicted of murdering Cha Vang, a Hmong hunter who was found shot and stabbed, his corpse hidden, in the woods near Peshtigo, Wisconsin. Nichols has admitted to killing Vang, but insists the killing was self-defense. On March 19, 2007, Nichols pleaded "Not Guilty" to the charge of first degree intentional homicide, felony possession of a weapon, and hiding a corpse. Nichols was convicted of second degree intentional homicide on October 6, 2007 and faces up to 69 years in prison.
Dr. Mark Witeck, who performed the autopsy on Cha Vang, testified that Vang was shot from about 50 feet away by a shotgun, and stabbed six times in his face and neck.
Attention to possible racial motives has been brought due to some of Nichol's own statements. Nichols has been quoted on record saying "Hmong group are bad". Nichols' employer has testified that two months before the killing, Nichols mentioned that he would have killed a Hmong hunter that he had seen in the woods if he had been carrying a shotgun rather than an air-rifle.