Kim Pham Trial, Day Nine: Defense, Prosecution Finish Closing Arguments, Deliberation to Begin Today

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The defense and prosecution finished their closing arguments in the Kim Pham trial today. The three-hour court session capped a trial that has now gone on for exactly two weeks. Jury deliberation should begin this afternoon, following final jury instruction from Judge Thomas Goethals after lunch.

The day opened with Michael Molfetta's defense of Candace Brito, one of the two women accused of kicking Kim Pham in the head the early morning of Jan. 19, which the State contends lead to her death. The veteran defense lawyer started his argument by lightheartedly praising Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino, apologizing to Pham's family for the death of their daughter, and commenting on how going third reminded him of picking a band for his wedding.

He quickly got into his argument however, conceding that while what happened was a tragedy, it was unfair to pin the responsibility on solely Brito and Vanesa Zavala.

"There's a tragedy that 30-some-odd people are responsible for, that 30-some-odd people took part in, and we're going to have these two bear the burden?" Molfetta asked.

Much like Reed, who made his argument the day before, Molfetta seized on the questions of whether or not the prosecution had successfully proved that Brito's actions caused Pham's death, if Pham's friends had lied on the stand or to police, and if it was possible Brito was acting in defense of Emilia.

"There were consequences of [Pham] lighting that powder keg," Molfetta said as several of Pham's friends cried in the audience. "The consequences were dire. The consequences were horrible. The consequences were tragic, but it was not [Brito and Zavala's] fault."

In addition, he also did his best to remove the jury's emotions from their decisions, multiple times stressing that they needed to deliberate with their heads, not their guts, and claiming that Pino needed the jury to "emotionally manipulate" the evidence and the law to come to a conviction.

"Senseless. Tragedy. It is a tragedy," Molfetta said. "But is [a conviction] going to change any grief? Is it going to mend any hearts? Is it going to make anything better?"

Molfetta took the final moments of his closing argument to prime the jury for Pino's rebuttal, which would take place after morning recess, again referencing Pino's abilities as a prosecutor and as a lawyer. Similarly, Pino started his rebuttal by addressing Molfetta's allegedly disingenuous public apology and the concept of lawyering and how good Molfetta was at it.

"This is a tragedy?" Pino wondered. "Natural disasters, cancer, people dying on the highway: Those are tragedies. This is criminal."

He went on to address Kenneth Reed and Molfetta's closing arguments point-by-point, addressing every instance where he felt they stretched the evidence or presented something without context.

He finished his argument with an apology and a thanks to the jury. A thank you for their service, and an apology for not joking as much as the defense did during testimony and arguments, a conclusion, he says, of the weight of the events and the heavy legal burden to prove the case.

"My courtroom demeanor is more serious," he said. "On this side of the table, we have a dead girl."

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55 comments
Oscar Benitez
Oscar Benitez

Yes you are correct... Yeeeeyyyy... Class is back in session! Lol.

Manifest Kibel
Manifest Kibel

You used the wrong 'your'. It's 'You're a dumb ass.' Kind of takes away from your point.

909Jeff
909Jeff

The moral of the story...

If you fight one bean you fight the whole burrito!

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

you could accidentally bump into some one and they come at you and you strike them first b/c you are quicker then them


that doesnt mean you started the fight



these girls attacked when there was no need to

hustling
hustling

yeah yeah yeah

everyone has something to say until it happens to your circle of life. first of all it doesn't matter that kim was only 100 pounds I know small guys that would be the shit out of some bigger buffer dude. Second who cares that she went to Chapman university if I could recall there was another college educated guy in santa Barbara that just went crazy and took people's life so it doesn't matter what school. Third it doesn't matter what happens today cause there are going to be upset people regardless of the out come. the truth is Kim shouldn't of yap her mouth cause in this world there is always somebody crazier and if you're not willing the after math then just be humble and be educated as all these articles say you are. if she was all about Chapman how come she wasn't educated enough to just say excuse me after being bump no she had to run her mouth. I don't care what race she was it doesn't matter one person died and two are going to prison and will be out later end of story. Still doesn't bring Kim back and Kim's family will forget about these two girls before they're even out. so who gives a shit about all this at the end this world if full of racism.

dumaduma999
dumaduma999

When someone mouth you off or trying to pick a fight with you, you punch them in the face.  Even if you are in a fight, if the other person is on the ground and can't defend themselves, the fight stop there, you win.  If you kicked them in the head while they on the ground, you are trying to KILL them.

Oscar Benitez
Oscar Benitez

An quite simple if a loud mouth bitch talks shit and starts a fight. Of coarse bad things will happen.. Use this a lessen learned for other ppl. Yes its sad she died. Thats the consequences. Im sure those killers will get convicted to.

Oscar Benitez
Oscar Benitez

Khmer guy: your a dumb ass! This has nothing to do with closing the borders! Dumb Fuck!!! It happened in Santa Ana.. No where near the borders!

MIMZ
MIMZ

IF NONE OF YOU WERE NOT THERE...STFU!!!!!! 

INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!!!!

Erin White
Erin White

Really? If someone beat your mother to death you'd say "oh, well, ma, that's what you get"? Where is your sense of empathy?

Johannah- Joey Falke
Johannah- Joey Falke

Guilty is guilty. These girls need to step up and face the consequence. Kim lost her life. No lawyer can ever justify those 2 girls actions. Guilty is guilty.

Melanie Nepsa-Goss
Melanie Nepsa-Goss

Lesson of the day is walk away. So she acted like an ass. She pushed and mouthed off. Whatever she said didn't physically hurt anyone. That does not give anyone the right to beat someone to death. If you are going to go to the extreme you better be able to stand up and take responsibility. Otherwise you are a murderer and a coward.

Osvaldo Cortes
Osvaldo Cortes

Sad part is, if you can't prove it in court it didn't happen \U0001f61e\U0001f611

Juan Carlos
Juan Carlos

Lesson of the day - dont start something you can't finish

hostyl313
hostyl313

I hope those bitches get theirs in jail where they belong. Its so easy to feel remorse after you get caught. And you can tell by looking at their faces they're guilty.

Keenan Roberts
Keenan Roberts

It's funny it took to fat pigs to fight one person. If you can't fight one on one, it's obvious you can't fight. I guess that's why clowns join gangs, they're a pussy and afraid of an ass kicking.

Sandra Gutierrez
Sandra Gutierrez

People are beyond ignorant, she started a fight and ended up dead. More then two people contributed to this fight!

Jeff Rey
Jeff Rey

im gonna guess.....guilty as charged.

Jeff Brooks
Jeff Brooks

Agreed Brett. Lying fucking cowards! That shit might have worked in high school or with your mentally challenged parents. Nice try but no dice. Enjoy exploring the finer points of relationships with Asian gangs in prison!

Mello Fello
Mello Fello

I hate defense lawyers that talk bs knowing their clients are guilty..Even if she started the fight,take the fade(1on1).#guiltyinmyeyes

Richard H Nguyễn
Richard H Nguyễn

Murder charges will be dropped but the PC 245 will stick. They'll probably get like 3-5 years.

Khmer Guy
Khmer Guy

This is why we need to close the border.

Brett Bremer
Brett Bremer

U jump someone you should get locked the fuck up. U kill someone while doing it. Then take the consequences... Cowards cant beg for forgiveness fuck them

DiAnna Cas
DiAnna Cas

Aaah... I was thinking, drinking, club. ..keg... o_O

Margo West
Margo West

Powdered keg, as in gunpowder. . Hmm

Garcia Vee
Garcia Vee

That's why everybody should know that kicking can be charged as a Felony. I know that 1st hand. In high school I fought and when the guy went down I kicked him in his face twice. Next thing the cops and the guys dad came to SAHS talked to me about the fight,and the cops pulled me to the side and let me know that kicking can lead to Sirius charges like a felony. Stick to the Hammers people.

Kano Lopez
Kano Lopez

Idk it sucks that if you're trying to defend yourself or a friend and the instigator dies you get charged with murder.. but I wasn't there so idk

Michelle Hart
Michelle Hart

What. Powder. Keg. A human being was beaten to death outside of a nightclub.

David Singer
David Singer

BEWARE of the CRAPWARE BROWSER UPDATE if you click on that link.

udontknow
udontknow

@MIMZ  found guilty, unless you were there share your story. If not then have a seat with the others that weren't and just wait until they sentence those two putas

Toejam
Toejam

Everybody acted like an ass that night, the people who stood around filming this fight instead of breaking it up, and the two women on trial who have such a disregard for human life that they kicked another young woman in the head and killed her for what really? For dunkenly mouthing off? These two will spend years and years, if not the rest of their lives, behind bars. Santa Ana is a cesspool that I would drive 40 miles out of my way to avoid.

hostyl313
hostyl313

No you're beyond ignorant. Oh so if some stupid bitches jumps you outside a bar and kick your head in its not their fault its yours. Hope your family and friends have to go thru what hers did.

fmcasella
fmcasella

That's interesting point of view considering you are not more than likely a Native American person.


orangelemon07
orangelemon07

really because then your relatives wouldn't come here either.. khmer is not american.. did your relatives sneak here in a boat or sneak here in a cargo truck....

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Sirius-ly, was that fight during Spelling class?

Toejam
Toejam

Oh yeah..that really sucks. So I guess you believe that these two should walk since "it sucks if you're trying to defend yourself and the instigator dies you get charged with murder". You know what Kano Lopez...you are correct Sir. Kim Pham totally DESERVED to be beaten to death in the street  that night. She totally deserved to have her brains bashed in. Case closed. I'm not sure why the cops and the D.A. were stupid enough to arrest these two low lifes and charge them with murder since "it sucks if your're trying to defend yourself and the instigator dies you get charged with murder".

hostyl313
hostyl313

Instigator?! She bumped into them so they kill her. Makes sense douche bag

fmcasella
fmcasella

@hostyl313 No one is ignorant. The truth is  she started the fight. BUT, with that being said  she didn't deserve to die and those two girls need to be put away for the way they  reacted which caused Kim's death. However, Kim  was not a martyr. She was a girl who was just as dumb and got the worst of it. It's unfortunate all around and these two need to be locked up. 

Toejam
Toejam

Siriusly JBinOC, that was LOL funny!

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