A jury on Friday convicted an immigrant truck driver of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of six deer hunters during a confrontation over trespassing, rejecting his contention that he fired in self-defense after one hunter used racial slurs and another shot at him.
Chai Soua Vang, 36, faces mandatory life in prison. Wisconsin does not have a death penalty.
Jurors deliberated about three hours before convicting Vang on six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of attempted homicide.
In addition to the six dead, two hunters were wounded in the shooting last Nov. 21 that began when the group of hunters confronted Vang for being on private land.
Four victims were shot in the back, and all but one were unarmed, according to testimony. The slaying occurred during deer hunting season and exposed the racial tension between the predominantly white north woods residents and immigrants from the Hmong ethnic group of Southeast Asia.
Outside court, one of Vang's friends questioned the all-white jury's makeup and maintained that Vang is innocent.
"All Caucasian, all American. Why can't there be one Hmong? Why can't there be one minority in there?" Pofwmyeh Yang said.
State Attorney General Peggy A. Lautenschlager told jurors in her closing argument that Vang ambushed some of the victims and chased down one of them.
But the defense said that the confrontation was all about racial prejudice and that prosecutors could not prove who fired the first shot. Vang testified that he started firing only after one of the hunters shot at him first.