OC Hate Crime Killer Headed For Lethal Injection

PhotobucketThis morning, the California Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and death-penalty sentence for Dallas Cowboys' fanatic Gunner Jay Lindberg, who celebrated what he saw as a 1996 Super Bowl victory by "America's team" with the savage ambush murder of a Vietnamese American he called "a Jap."

In a 69-page ruling, the justices reviewed and dismissed each of Lindberg's numerous claims that the two special-circumstance findings that put him on San Quentin's State Prison's condemned row were bogus. Instead, the justices concurred with a 1997 Orange County jury's determination that Lindberg had attempted to rob Thien Minh Ly before killing him and that the crime had been racially motivated.

According to the seven-justice panel, "There is substantial evidence" the jury got both findings right.

On Jan. 29, 1996, Ly—a 24-year-old UCLA and Georgetown University scholar who dreamed of being the first Vietnamese American ambassador to his native country—was found dead on the Tustin High School tennis courts. The previous night, after watching Photobucketthe Super Bowl with friends, he'd decided to roller blade alone around 9 p.m. A butcher-knife-wielding Lindberg, 21, and a 17-year-old accomplice trapped Ly, tormented the devout Buddhist, and then executed him. The autopsy report showed Ly had been repeatedly punched, kicked in the face and stomped in the head, as well as stabbed 22 times, mostly in the heart. Overkill was in Lindberg's blood and so he also severed both of his victim's jugular veins. Afterward, the blood-sprayed pair returned to Lindberg's apartment, smoke marijuana, played video games, watched movies, and—no kidding—talked about serving as warriors in a coming intergalactic battle among forces of evil.

Lindberg and Domenic Christopher--both K-Mart employees--were arrested after Lindberg confessed in writing a month later to an out-of-state relative, who notified police. (Christopher received a 25-years-to-life sentence.) During his trial, Lindberg threatened to kill other Vietnamese and mocked Ly's distraught family by wearing a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt in the courtroom.

But in a letter to me last month, Lindberg—who treasured Nazi symbols, ranted against "gooks" and associated with white-supremacist groups before his final arrest—insisted he's "not a monster" and that race and robbery played no role in the killing. He explains away Ly's death as merely a result of his "reckless actions."

Baloney, said the state's highest court. "Based upon the evidence, the jury reasonably could have found that the defendant harbored an intent to steal Ly's property when he knocked Ly to the ground, demanded to know whether he had a car, and put his knife to his throat. . . . Additional evidence showed the defendant's particular racial animus against Asians."

An execution date has not been set.

My in-depth July cover story about the case can be found here.

-- R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
2 comments
maureenskaar
maureenskaar

they just love to keep these guys alive..get it over California

mrsalmon4463
mrsalmon4463

When is the state of California going to do the right thing and put this POS to death. This guy doesn't deserve to breath the air in his cell. Thien Minh Ly was an outstanding human being that only wanted to good for society and he possibly could have been the one to cure cancer. We will never know because this jerk cut his life short for no reason except the color of his skin. What a waste.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Fashion

General

Loading...