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

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Pool Photo

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.

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Kim Pham Trial, Day Eight: Prosecution, Defense Makes Closing Arguments

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Pool Photo
Deputy DA Troy Pino made his initial closing argument today

The Kim Pham trial is nearing its end, as the prosecution and half of the defense made their closing statements today after less than two weeks in trial. Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino addressed the jury first, following Judge Thomas Goethals' morning jury instructions.

He reiterated a theme that he made in his opening argument: That he was representing the state, not Kim Pham or her family, and that the state was alleging a crime was committed. He then went over each part of his witnesses' testimony.

"Kim Pham was killed," Pino said. "The evidence is very clear. But yet they both deny it, and I wish that were true. If that were true, we wouldn't be here, and Miss Pham would be alive. But they get up there, and they lie."

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Kim Pham Trial, Day Seven: Brito Takes Stand, Defense Rests

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Pool Photo
Brito and Zavala enter the courtroom before opening statements

The defense in the Kim Pham trial rested today after testimony by Candace Brito, one of the two defendants in the murder case and the only witness to take the stand today. Closing arguments will be made tomorrow. The jury is expected to begin deliberations tomorrow afternoon or Wednesday morning.

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Kim Pham Trial, Day Six: Vanesa Zavala Takes Stand, Gets Kicked Into Submission by DA

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Pool Photo
Zavala during opening statements

Twenty-five-year-old Vanesa Zavala took the stand in her own defense yesterday afternoon after witnessing six days of testimony against her. The accused mother, who has thus far been fairly muted in court, spoke softly but firmly while being questioned by her defense attorney, Kenneth Reed.

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

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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.

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Kim Pham Trial, Day Five: Judge Goethals Bars Testimony of Possible Missed Video

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The defense during opening statements

After days of discussion with the district attorneys and defense, Judge Thomas Goethals will not allow two brothers to testify about a video they say they saw outside the Crosby the night of Kim Pham's death. According to the brothers, the video was more vivid than the others currently in evidence and actually showed a kick connecting with Kim Pham's head.

Whether or not attorneys would have been able to ask the brothers about the video was in question because the Santa Ana Police Department never successfully collected it and the defense had no chance to review it.


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Agustin Villegas, Shot Dead on 91 Freeway, Subject of Funeral Crowdfunding: Update

Categories: 2014 Homicides

See the update at the end of this post with details on how you can contribute to funeral crowdfunding for Agustin Villegas, who leaves behind a wife and four children.

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Kevin Warn

ORIGINAL POST, JULY 15, 8:55 A.M.: A 32-year-old Anaheim man was shot to death Monday night while riding as a passenger in a truck that was fired upon on the 91 freeway.

Agustin Villegas, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was among four males in the white Ford F-150 and among two who were shot, according to a statement from Anaheim Police Lt. Bob Dunn. The department spokesman's agency, Anaheim Fire and Rescue and the California Highway Patrol responded to a 9-1-1 call at 8:09 p.m. about a possible shooting on the westbound 91 east of the 57 freeway. That's where the truck's front windows suddenly shattered, Villegas slumped over, and he became unresponsive, Dunn said.

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Kim Pham Trial, Day Five: Prosecution Winds Down as Pham's Friends Finish Testimony

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Photo by Ed Carrasco
Pham's friends and family at a vigil after the beating that left her brain dead (Note: the Vietnamese mourning color is white)

The Orange County District Attorney's case against Candace Brito and Vanesa Zavala for the murder of Kim Pham is expected to end as early as today, as the glut of Pham's personal friends have now finished their testimony. In total, the prosecution called over a dozen witnesses, including first responders, Santa Ana police, Pham's doctors, bouncers, Crosby patrons, and the six other people Pham was with at the Crosby that night.

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Kim Pham Trial, Day Three: Where's the Missing Video Showing a Killer Kick?

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Judge Goethals during opening statements

Lawyers in the Kim Pham trial met with Judge Thomas Goethals over an hour before the jury was called today to settle whether or not two witnesses will be able to testify about a video of the fight that both saw at the scene but that the Santa Ana Police Department failed to find.

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Kim Pham Trial, Testimony From Days One and Two: Two New Videos and Three Independent Witnesses

Categories: 2014 Homicides

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OC Reg/Pool Photo
Kenneth Reed during opening statements

The prosecution in the Kim Pham trial closed the first two days of its case today with two more new videos of the altercation and testimony from the third witness not to have an affiliation with either Pham's or Vanesa Zavala and Candace Brito's groups. The takeaway: All three of the unaffiliated witnesses believe that both Zavala and Brito kicked Pham in the head shortly after midnight Jan. 18 and that after the last kick, Pham became unconscious.

The three young men were together in a group ahead of Pham's in line at the Crosby the night she died. Two of them recorded video of the altercation.

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