Kim Pham Trial, Day Six: Prosecution Rests After Undercover Cop, Zavala Interview

pino_opening.jpg
Pool Photo
Pino during opening statements

The prosecution in the Kim Pham trial rested today after admitting into evidence an audio recording of a police interview with Vanesa Zavala and calling back to the stand a detective who had gone undercover to speak with the woman while she was held in preparation to be booked.

The 38-minute-long recording takes place in the early morning of Jan. 20, just two days after the fight, and features Santa Ana Police Department Detectives Leo Rodriguez and Clint Achziger questioning Zavala about her involvement.

By this point, they had already acquired a video of the altercation that allegedly showed Zavala kicking Pham. However, during the interview she continually stressed that she spent the fight looking for her lost phone. (In fact, the phone somehow ended up in the hands of Pham's friends and which they turned in to the police).

"Everybody went all crazy, and that's when I went looking for my phone," she can be heard saying on the recording.

The detectives continued to press her on her involvement.

"Just because you're there doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong," Achziger said on the recording. "You have a son, right? ... Lying is what makes you look bad."

She continued to deny ever kicking Pham, eventually conceding that she may have thrown a punch in self defense but wasn't sure if anything landed.

The tape ends abruptly as Zavala invokes her right to an attorney after 37 minutes of speaking to the police. Though she wasn't arrested immediately, she was taken into custody later that day.

While being held before arraignment, Zavala was briefly housed with SAPD Detective Patty Navarro, an undercover detective sent by Rodriguez to try and gleam more information from Zavala.

The detective went undercover as an older chola and asked Zavala about what happened outside of the Crosby.

"Did you give her some putazos?" Navarro asked. "Fuck girl, maybe you beat the shit out of her, and you didn't even know."

"No," Zavala replied.

After cross-examination by the defense, Deputy DA Troy Pino rested his case. Kenneth Reed will begin his defense of Vanesa Zavala in the afternoon. Michael Molfetta is expected to begin his defense of Candace Brito sometime next week.

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Email: clam@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @charlesnam. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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19 comments
Sean Ramos
Sean Ramos

I'm glad to see that everyone here is more concerned with grammar then the fact that someone was "Murdered".

jillbabe
jillbabe

terrible article. OC weekly has terrible writers. 


Many other articles were much more informative: 2 girls kicked tiny asian girl in head. Asian girl dies. Plenty of witnesses and videos. 


End result....those girls are looking 7-10 years for manslaughter. 

Doncaster Rhonda
Doncaster Rhonda

Proof reafers? Dictionary...thesaurus...Spell check???that is free...come on, for paid positions, get these small things correct. Glasses, or contacts might be in order, if small mistakes are overlooked. I miss traditional print.

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

wow! i thought it could not get any worse than tony ra-cockless during the Kelly Thomas trial, but the DA is really setting the standard for being dumb in this case.

WhiteyAlmighty
WhiteyAlmighty

It's hard to believe that, with all of the eye witnesses, we still need to rely on obtaining video of the actual death blow. What about all the people who watched it happen? Where are they?

I guess if Tu Pac can get shot on the Vegas Strip with no eye witnesses then anything is possible.

Colin Nasseri
Colin Nasseri

*glean, not gleaM. don't these writers have proofreaders? ?

Erk Audelo Leon
Erk Audelo Leon

Older Chola undercover wtf? That's some sneaky s..h..t.

Marc Knack
Marc Knack

I ask you, OC Weekly, if the D.A. loses this case, after losing the Kelly Thomas trial just a few months back, will there be shakeups at the top? I mean, really, is this office doing a good job?

SycamoreDentist
SycamoreDentist

The Santa Ana PD, announced today a new Cheif Of Detectives, some guy named Barney Fife.

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

This is the evidence they are using against her? Can you say acquittal?

Toejam
Toejam

Nice job OC Weeky. Why did you publish the name of the SAPD undercover cop?

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

Well, that wasn't very impressive. 

949girl
949girl topcommenter

Being that she said she was looking for her phone during this and that Pham's friends are the ones who ended up turning her phone in does not look good for the state's case.  

dubyadawg
dubyadawg topcommenter

@SycamoreDentist Art, you're just not really funny.  You're not a good dentist either.  Dipshit. 

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

if she asked for a lawyer and they sent a detective in undercover to question her after the fact,  then they shouldn't be able to use that evidence. This is clearly stated in the motions by Scott Dekkrai's lawyer.

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

how so? if anything it may imply that she was in a scuffle and dropped her phone while fighting...

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