BREAKING: Vanesa Zavala, Candace Brito Found Not Guilty of Murdering Kim Pham, Guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter

Categories: Crime-iny

Pham: RIP

See the bottom of this post for any updates.

Weekly reporter Charles Lam is at the Central Courthouse and just texted that Candace Brito and Vanesa Zavala have been found not guilty of the second-degree murder of Kim Pham, who died outside a nightclub in Santa Ana earlier this year. The two defendants, however, were both found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury.

More--much more--to come later today. And make sure to pick up the paper next week, as our cover will be devoted to the Kim Pham case in its entirety.

UPDATE: July 24, 2014 4:31 p.m. from Charles Lam:

Responses from the courtroom were muted today, as the verdicts were read. Several jurors, friends of Pham, and defendants Candace Brito and Vanesa Zavala wept as they listened to the clerk. Everyone else was more or less silent.

After the court cleared, Kim's father, Dung Pham, spoke briefly with the media:

"I think the verdict . . . We have to honor the jury decision," he said. "It's not win; it's not loss. It's not happy; it's not sad."

Pham showed empathy for the defendants. "When I see Miss Brito and Miss Zavala cry, I was sad," he said. "Like I said, 'Nobody win, nobody lost.'"

Defense attorney Michael Molfetta was pleased with the manslaughter conviction and said he knew that Brito would be found not guilty of murder the moment the charges were filed.

We also spoke with one juror following the closure of the courtroom. The gray-bearded resident of Orange had been a Marine and was the only juror to believe the defendants were guilty of involuntary manslaughter, until he went over the transcripts.

"I had trouble with the defendants realizing that they could cause the murder," he said. "The vast majority of the times you kick people, they don't die."

He changed his mind, however, when he looked through his transcripts and saw that both women had admitted they knew that kicking someone in the head could kill them.

"I would've held out more if they hadn't admitted to that," he said.

Zavala and Brito are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 9. They face between three and 11 years for the charge of voluntary manslaughter and between five and seven years for the charge of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, with an enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

Email: Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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They're also guity of perjury.  I highly doubt the victim caused it unless she was really provoked.

I'm calling b.s. on that. I think these idiot uglies committed purjury in the court. 

These grossie thugs are fat sloppy b*s. Asian women might be small, but if they're mad- you don't f*** with them.  

Vietnamese girls are typically very civil and disciplined.  I'm surprised that college grads are taken to the slums for a night out- her standards were way too low. 

The fact that she was taken down only merits that she probably wasn't into fighting. Why would she? If she really wanted a fight, the victim would've held out longer.   Ask Brian Stowe.  

I also strongly believe that there's a b.s. racist cause for the slap on the wrist. 

The men who murdered Vincent Chan ended up paying $3000 in fines EACH.  Tough luck for the people who were held up to high standards as "model citizens".  


kicking her in the head while is down... dah f^&% what did you think was going to happen? what a bunch of bs.


I'm tired of the vilification simply bc our a Brown skin. I truly believe that Pham was the instigator and culprit. Pham, just like the majority of the comments posted here believe that those with brown skin can be the target of assault and comments bc "we" don't have access to a legal system that works for us. This is a wake up call for minorities to take hold of the political system in california that doesn't work for us...

My advice to brio and zavala. You should of gotten a private detective to trace pham gang ties and those of her friends, family and close acquaintance. 


@1234okay NOBODY is vilifying your skin stupid. 

When was the last time I've seen latino take responsibility for ANYTHING?  

And I'm talking about the criminals.  Like the @$$hole who tagged my car (he was caught on film, the Mexican Detective with the LAPD protects them).

Not the brown skinned people I've met while working ( latinos with good character, because we know that quality is a choice and not a DNA make up). 

Knock it off.   When was the last time white or Asian people went to the East Side to trash your hood?  Cause problems?  


@sumiallen1 @1234okay These border hoppin cockroaches from south of the border NEVER fight one on one. You fight one beaner next thing you know you fight a bean burrito!!!Toe to toe, 1 on 1 they are nothin!!!


two against one kicking repeatedly in the head while defenseless is murder, premeditated or not.  they knew it could kill her. if a paintball gun can be declared a deadly weapon, two thugs' boots certainly can.


Stringent measures are required in order to turn this into a blessing & start by confessing Jesus is Lord...proper conduct requires to know in the first place what the hell am I talking about & indicating? A meeting with our President just turn out to make more sense than currently being provided! That's what...CooCoo

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