Little Saigon's wild Thanh Van Quang arrived at Wasco State Prison on Wednesday and, after an evaluation, corrections officials eventually will bus him to a more permanent home at a different California penitentiary, where he'll reside while serving a tough sentence.
You may remember my colleague Matt Coker reported earlier this month on Quang's sentencing hearing for committing one of Orange County's more bizarre crimes.
In Nov. 2012, he used a lighter to ignite a one-gallon container of gasoline inside Room 25 at the Pueblo Motel on Harbor Boulevard. The explosion blew him out of the door, risked the lives of the other motel occupants and caused more than $177,500 in damage. He wore embarrassing evidence of his stunt. Flames burned a portion of his hair and skin on his upper back.
Quang's defense lawyer claimed his client momentarily lost his mind and intended to burn clothes he'd placed outside of the second-floor motel room shortly before the blast, but accidentally lit the gas inside the room.
A prosecutor argued the defendant committed arson as a route to revenge against the motel manager, who'd intervened earlier in a shouting match Quang had with his guests.
Whatever the truth regarding motive, a superior court judge handed a convicted Quang a term of 33 years to life.
But before we close the book on this character it's only fitting to acknowledge all of his contributions to society. More »