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Third judge named in Kou Thao murder case

A mugshot of Kou Thao, April 22 2013
A mugshot of Kou Thao, April 22 2013

WAUSAU, WI (WTAQ) - A third judge has been named to hear the case of a man charged in Wausau with the death and dismemberment of a man from St. Paul Minnesota.

26-year-old Kou Thao was supposed to have a preliminary hearing Friday on Marathon County charges of homicide, hiding a corpse, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The hearing was called off after a second judge was taken off the case.

Prosecutors said Thao drove from Wausau to Milwaukee in April while carrying the severed head of 58-year-old Tong Pao Hang. Other body parts were found in the basement of a Milwaukee house where officers found Thao’s car.

Circuit Judge Lamont Jacobson, a former prosecutor, pulled himself from the case. Judge Greg Huber was then appointed, but the defense used its one allowable substitution request.

Judge Michael Moran will now hear the case, and the preliminary hearing is set for August 7th. Thao has been in jail since March on a $1 million bond.