[UPDATED with Conviction:] Christopher Dai-Ichi Yu Murdered Woman Dragged Through Streets
Christopher Dai-Ichi Yu, 18, faces life without the possibility of parole at his Aug. 5 sentencing by Superior Court Judge Lance Jensen in Westminster.
A jury today found Yu guilty not only of special circumstances murder (because it was carried out during an attempted robbery) but criminal street-gang activity, street terrorism, attempted murder and use of a gun for shooting at the woman's boyfriend as he chased Yu in his car.
|Lynn Ai Quach|
When she approached the passenger side of the car, Yu grabbed her purse and yanked it into her car. Quach, who was in the driver's seat, is alleged to have hit the gas and sped off. After being dragged through the streets, Huynh eventually fell away, slamming hard into the pavement.
But that was not before Huynh's 36-year-old boyfriend, Truong Pham, chased after the car in his own vehicle. During the pursuit, Yu fired a gun out his window at Pham. The cars speeding by led caught the attention of a Westminster patrolman, who stopped Yu's car and arrested the couple.
Quach is scheduled to stand trial on charges similar to Yu's on Oct. 31
ORIGINAL, UPDATED POST, APRIL 1, 2010, 8:53 A.M.: Tuyet Thi Huynh was standing next to a car at Russell Paris Park, talking with the young couple inside late Saturday night. The Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA) claims Huynh, 38, of Garden Grove, had arranged to meet Christopher Dai-Ichi Yu, 18, of Fountain Valley, and Lynn Ai Quach, 19, of Garden Grove, to buy drugs.
Talk about a drug deal gone bad.
According to a statement released by the OCDA, Quach was in the driver's seat of a Honda sedan, Yu was in the passenger seat and Huynh's 36-year-old boyfriend, Truong Pham, was watching the 11:30 p.m. transaction from his car.
But there was no transaction, according to authorities, who say when Huynh approached the passenger side window holding cash, Yu grabbed the booty and Quach hit the gas.
Huynh's purse became tangled in the car, however.
She was dragged from the park at 8601 Palos Verde Avenue for about a a mile through several streets of Westminster, according to the OCDA statement.
Here is the 9-1-1 audio:
The original Westminster Police Department report stated that Hunyh was not freed until someone in the car shot her in the area of Palos Verdes Avenue and Fox Hills. The statement from prosecutors mentions no gunshot directed at the woman, only that she eventually fell and slammed into the pavement.
But the OCDA does mirror the police report in stating that Pham followed the Honda and was shot at by an occupant of the car. Prosecutors have identified Yu as the shooter.
An Orange County sheriff's deputy saw the cars speed boy and managed to stop the Honda.
Orange County Fire rescuers rushed Huynh to UCI Medical Center in grave condition. She died there of head trauma. The OCDA statement reiterates she did not suffer any gunshot wounds.
Yu and Quach have each been charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of a robbery and for a criminal street gang purpose and one felony count of attempted murder with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity.
Yu is also charged with street terrorism and a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm.
Quach was charged additionally with sentencing enhancement for the vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member.
Currently being held without bail, they each could get life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
The full OCDA statement on the charges follows after the break . . .