By Shereen Siewert
The 24-year-old Wausau man accused in the shooting death of 30-year-old Mai Rue “Lily” Vang will undergo a competency exam on an inpatient basis, a judge ordered Friday.
Umberto Lo faces charges filed Friday in Marathon County Circuit Court of first-degree intentional homicide by use of a dangerous weapon. The charges carry a domestic abuse repeater enhancer, which can amplify the penalties if Lo is found guilty. Five counts of bail jumping were also filed against Lo, who had a long history of domestic abuse-related charges involving the alleged victim in the case, court records show.
Police responded at about 2:36 a.m. Sunday, March 21, to an apartment in the 1300 block of North 9th Avenue in Wausau for a report of a shooting after Lo allegedly sent a photo of Vang that showed a gunshot wound to her head to a family member via Facebook messenger. Two children were in the home at the time of the shooting, prosecutors said earlier this week.
Lo’s competency has been raised in several other cases involving the same victim. Court records show Lo was arrested in February 2019 and convicted two months later on charges of disorderly conduct with a domestic abuse modifier after an attack on Vang. A charge of battery was dismissed as part of a plea agreement and Lo was placed on probation for 18 months.
Then in April 2020, while still on probation, Lo was arrested on a new domestic abuse-related charge. He was released on bond with a condition not to contact Vang. But in September, he was arrested and charged again, this time with strangulation/suffocation, battery, disorderly conduct and bail jumping. Initially, he was held on cash bond but in October, his attorney successfully petitioned Circuit Judge Mike Moran to convert the cash to a signature bond. Lo was released – again with a requirement not to contact the victim.
Though the no-contact order was non waiveable, Lo was arrested again and in December faced new bail jumping charges. He was released on a $500 bond. Twelve days later, after another allegedly violent encounter, Lo faced new bail jumping and disorderly conduct charges. Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson ordered a $2,500 bond with the first $500 in cash, an amount Lo posted in January.
The order not to contact Vang remained in place and was still in effect on March 7, when Lo was arrested yet again. On March 8, Lo was charged with five counts of bail jumping. This time, Judge Jacobson set a $2,000 cash bond. Lo paid the bond March 10.
Eleven days later, Vang – the alleged victim in all six cases – was dead.
Lo’s defense attorney, Nick O’Connor, did not object to continuing the $1 million cash bond set Monday, which remains in place. The competency evaluation is expected to take about two weeks, after which a hearing will be set to review the results.