With Deputy's Aid, Killer Turned Orange County Jail Into A Pleasure Palace, Witness Testifies

Kim freely explored sexual fetishes inside jail
Though a savage thug and murderer who liked to use guns, knives and a baseball bat to inflict pain during ambushes, Stephenson Choi Kim's life inside the Orange County Jail (OCJ) couldn't have been more pleasant.

Take the third Saturday in May 2011, for example.

Already convicted of committing a fatal, unprovoked restaurant shooting seven years earlier for his Southern California criminal street gang and awaiting an eventual 300-year sentence, Kim wanted to satisfy his carnal desires without relying on cellmates.

He summoned his civilian girlfriend, Ha Duc Nguyen, to Booth A of the Attorney-Bonds section of the jail visitor area, where a thoughtful deputy improved the ambiance and privacy of the bland room by turning off the lights.

Dragon--Kim's gang moniker probably to compensate for his short physical stature--then plugged a laptop computer into an electrical socket, watched a porno DVD while fondling Nguyen and stripped.

For perhaps an hour or longer and within feet of deputies, the killer engaged in oral, anal and vaginal sex.

During post coital bliss, he enjoyed a McDonald's or Carl's Jr. burger that Nguyen--a high school substitute teacher--had easily smuggled inside the high-security facility.

When Kim returned to the inmate housing area, he called Nguyen on a jail phone.

"I got what I wanted: Your pussy and ass," he bragged.

Kim then talked openly about the sex, the burger, the porno and apologized for giving Nguyen a hickey during their date.

The conversation--conducted without fear that deputies would monitor the call and take corrective action--lasted so long, according to testimony this week inside Superior Court Judge Patrick H. Donahue's Santa Ana courtroom, that Kim also told Nguyen deputies were at that moment using a K9 to search for illegal drugs.

But the inmate--who was making thousands of dollars as a busy drug dealer inside OCJ--wasn't worried about losing his stash of marijuana Nguyen smuggled to him using cellophane and her vagina.

On a phone line that contains a pre-recorded Orange County Sheriff's Department warning that deputies monitor calls, an unconcerned Kim explained that if the K9 came near his cell he would simply shove the pot up his rectum.

Kim didn't know Venus Hyun, 22, but fatally shot her in the back while she ate dinner with friends at a popular Cypress restaurant
Jail perks for Kim weren't just regular sex dates and drugs, but also imported food.

Abusing her role as a court-appointed legal runner to win contact visits, Nguyen testified on June 17 for prosecutor Aleta Bryant that she satisfied as many of the killer's desires as possible.

"It's really not that hard [to smuggle contraband into OCJ]," said Nguyen.

In addition to the sex, drugs and porn, during a two-year period she brought him vibrators, porn magazines, medicine, Snickers bars, Asian candy, tobacco, chewing gum, NyQuil, tuna fish, peanut butter, pizza, McDonald's, Carl's Jr., Vietnamese food, home cooking, steaks and pasta primavera from Olive Garden.

"Steve is obsessed with his hair," Nguyen testified. "The jail doesn't have sharp razors so he'd have me bring him [sharp razor blades].

Bryant asked her witness if she'd been concerned about giving weapons to a cold-blooded killer who, according to a long rap sheet, resolved even minor conflicts with horrific violence.

"I was not thinking probably," Nguyen said. "I'm sure it was a bad idea, but he was not violent. I didn't think he was going to harm anybody. It doesn't make much sense, but I knew Steve in a different way. I loved him."

The government's star witness claims she handed Deputy David Lloyd Cass, the defendant in the trial, gifts so he would continue to give her and Kim special privileges.

Cass, who was fired after an internal investigation, pleaded not guilty and has the support of a large group of family and friends inside the courtroom each trial day.

Defense lawyer Lewis Rosenblum acknowledges that the deputy was "nice" to the inmate but denies Cass knew about the sex, porn and drugs.

Nguyen claims she secretly gave Cass presents like $440 in gift certificates to Burke Williams Day Spa and $400 in ice hockey match tickets as the couple's way of saying, "Thank you."

During more than 70 jail visits, Nguyen states there were times were they didn't engage in sex in the visitors' area.

"We'd take pictures and send messages to people," she recalled. "We called people-- texting and emailing."

They even used her cell phone to record some of their sexual interludes, including one where the naked killer masturbates in the visiting area.

She also claimed deputies allowed Kim to talk to her on the phone for "six or eight hours a day" during certain months and the conversations "very frequently" involved graphic phone sex.

Sometimes Kim made three-way calls to her and a per-minute-fee sex line employee.

"Steve had weird, like, fetishes," testified Nguyen, who is being housed without bail inside the Santa Ana Jail.

Bryant asked if she worried about deputies listening to the calls.

According to Nguyen, Kim insisted he knew sheriff's department procedures and was positive they didn't monitor the phones.

Nonetheless, to protect Cass from exposure she said they tried to remember to use code words--"Home boy," "Old boy" and "Our friend"--whenever they talked about the deputy's assistance.

The couple's marijuana dealing inside OCJ was lucrative. Nguyen set up a post office box where relatives and friends of inmates sent checks and cash for payments. Despite drug dealing competition from another inmate--infamous killer Skylar Deleon, the couple made so much money Nguyen diverted some of the proceeds to pay off a $10,000 credit card bill and Kim wanted to expand.

"He wanted to sell other drugs," she testified. "Heroin mostly [and] Ecstasy."

But Nguyen--who said heroin is commonly used in OCJ by inmates--claims she refused.

The witness also testified to the rapt jury of eight women and four men that Cass never sought gifts in exchange for allowing the sex, but also never rejected the presents.

"He was so nice," she said, noisily sucking on a lozenge for a sore throat. "He was helping us. It sounds stupid or horrible but when you have somebody you love incarcerated and you can't touch them . . . I was grateful that Deputy Cass let us that do that."

Rosenblum objected, insisting there's no evidence the deputy knew of the sex.

Judge Donahue sustained the objection and Bryant re-asked a question to encourage her witness to repeat the alleged quid pro quo deal.

"I feel like I owed him something for being so nice," Nguyen testified. "He was letting me touch Steve, have sex with Steve . . . The lights [in Booth A] would turn off whenever [Cass] was [on duty] and I would thank him at the end [of visits]."

Though the highly articulate Nguyen secretly married Kim several years ago, she says they broke up in January and now calls her infatuation with the killer the result of "insanity."

The case launched after a raid on Kim's cell found extensive contraband, including a phone.

Testimony resumes today, but it's unclear when Rosenblum--who has made no secret he plans to attack Nguyen as a clever liar offering testimony to win a sweetheart punishment deal from Bryant--will get his shot at cross examination.

For unknown reasons, Bryant is refusing to call Kim, now 33 and a resident of California State Prison in Sacramento--as a trial witness despite his key role in the case.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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My Voice Nation Help

This guy is definitely scum and so is his stupid girlfriend. Please saying "to me he was different" b*tch you were just a greedy whore, so STFU. You knew he shot and killed a woman for no reason, so don't give us this "he was a nice guy to me" and "i loved him" crap. 

And for the killer, more than likely lashing out for his super tiny dk. I honestly don't know how Asian women, can deal with those tiny things. 

18usc241 topcommenter

"But the inmate--who was making thousands of dollars as a busy drug dealer inside OCJ--wasn't worried about losing his stash of marijuana Nguyen smuggled to him using cellophane and her vagina. On a phone line that contains a pre-recorded Orange County Sheriff's Department warning that deputies monitor calls, an unconcerned Kim explained that if the K9 came near his cell he would simply shove the pot up his rectum"


Reading about this "drug dealer" cottage industry right under the noses of Sandra Hutchens and her Sheriffs deputies reminds me of:


The criminal harassment that I was subjected to by the deputies based in Stanton when I would arrive or leave my engineering job at Stanton Telecommunications Systems Services near Katella and Dale. What is most interesting is that we were designing surveillance systems for law enforcement and commercial purposes in Colombia with the cooperation of Colombian law enforcement. We were also providing systems support services for a Garden Grove commercial surveillance company. The Garden Grove company that we supported had relationships with US law enforcement and if memory serves me correctly the FBI. I personally designed calibration and diagnostic testing equipment for their tracking base stations. This occurred during the reign of Brad Gates and Mike Carona. They both continued the criminal harassment when my wife and I moved to Rancho Santa Margarita.


How former Sheriff Mike Carona, currently residing in federal prison and whose deputies continued to harass me after Gates retired, paled around with ex-cocaine trafficking pilot.


Ex-Garden Grove police Chief Stan Knee who after harassing me at same time and in coordinated fashion with EVERYONE ELSE got to go on a junkett to Afghanistan with Dyncorp - the same company that makes a fortune with Plan Colombia - the joint US/Colombian anti-drug interdiction program. Remember Knee is harassing me with his nutcase GGPD while I'm hanging out with the Colombian police providing them with surveillance capability complete with Colombian military artillery backup in some areas.

And so I've often wondered: how serious is this "War on Drugs" and are there cops/deputies/federal agents in Orange County CA involved in drug trafficking from Colombia into same County?

Would anyone blame me?

JBinOC topcommenter

What I really want to know is...was it a McDonalds burger, or Carl's Jr.?

949girl topcommenter

Some other deputy had to be involved at least at the very minimum, if not more.  Cass couldn't have pulled all of this off by himself.  When visiting an inmate at Men's Central  it's very unlikely that you would be sent to Attorney Bonds.  First you have to go through the metal detector and then go check-in where 2 deputies are working and you go visit an inmate within their Mod's visiting period.  If Cass wasn't the one working checking visitors in then he wouldn't have any influence in sending Kim to attorney bonds unless he somehow worked something out with the guards working the check-in booth.  It's a lot for one person to coordinate.  Was Cass the one escorting Kim to Attorney Bonds, was he the guard working Attorney Bonds or was he in the check-in booth?  Something is fishy.  Someone else was involved.  Way too complicated for him to get past that many other deputies without throwing up a red flag.  

Now I'm led to believe that Nguyen never went through the normal security and went straight to attorney bonds.  First off she wouldn't have been able to bypass the security with all she smuggled in.  The first metal detector is not even near checkin and they wouldn't allow her to bring anything in.  Inmates in protective custody, at least during the time period he was in Central, visiting was only 30 minutes.  So if Cass was the one working security at Attorney Bonds and did coordinate Nguyen's arrival wouldn't the deputy escorting Kim their think it were odd that they had long visits and wouldn't he also think that it were odd that Kim always got his visits in Attorney Bonds?  They only send inmates there for visits when the protective custody visits are busy and they are trying to speed up the process and it's very unlikely that they would consistently send the same inmate there.  Maybe others weren't in on this but they definitely looked the other way.

paullucas714 topcommenter

Deputy Cass will get probation at worst.  T Rack wont let even the dirtiest of cops go to jail. Ever no matter what!

949girl topcommenter

How did all of this unravel?  Did another deputy or inmate tell on them?

949girl topcommenter

The only one who made out in this whole situation was Kim.  He had nothing to lose.  I still think Deputy Cass had to have more of an incentive than just gift cards and hockey tickets to helping these two out.  That's a big risk to take and he had a lot to lose for such a small reward.  There is probably more to this story in terms of financial rewards that anyone is admitting to or that can be proven.  And I'm sure both Kim and Nguyen aren't going to fully come clean since they all seemed to have a good relationship with each other.  

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

I thought I had the market cornered on weird fetishes...

MatthewTCoker topcommenter

sex & drugs & special food

is all my brain & body need

sex & drugs & special food

is very good indeed.


@HeatherWilson why all the racist statements? Does it bother you that an asian man is more powerful than you white brothers? Dont be mad at us because we are making the best out of our situation. Be mad because your WHITE brothers leave your WHITE ass for a mexican 

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter


She probably should have just gone to Burger King so she could have it her way... 

JBinOC topcommenter

And Ms. Nguyen was sucking on a lozenge during her testimony?

Something different, for a change, I guess...


@949girl he was in the barracks not in the mods regular visiting rooms 

18usc241 topcommenter

That would legally make T-Rack a candidate for federal prison if true - much longer than Mike Carona's current visit.

18usc241 topcommenter


What's also fascinating is the psychological makeup of a person who calls killers "good people".

One of the most dangerous Sheriffs departments in US law enforcement history.

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter


I'm wondering if Kim had some dirt on Cass and was blackmailing him...the gift cards were just a ruse?

20ftjesus topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle Hmm... Plot twist:  Cass was doing Kim in the booty.  Kim threatens to expose him as a homosexual unless Cass allows Nguyen to bring in contraband.  Gift cards, tickets were just to show their appreciation on his ongoing participation.  Would make a good movie on FX.

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@20ftjesus @fishwithoutbicycle 

Hmm...that's certainly a "twist". Perhaps there is such a thing as a blackmail fetishist...anything is possible.

(I wonder how a movie about my transvestite fetish would fair...or would it be a drag?) (harumph)

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