Cuong Viet Nguyen, 29 and formerly of Garden Grove, was sentenced to life in prison today after spending some time on the run from the law.
In 2005, he shot a man in Stanton after whipping him with his belt. And then he fled.
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On June 26, 2005, Nguyen went with a group of friends to All Star Bar in Stanton and got into a fight inside the bar with another group of men, including victim Tri Van Bui. The bouncers instructed Bui's group to leave the bar.
Nguyen and an unknown friend waited outside of the bar for Bui. After the victim had finished speaking with a bouncer, the defendant and his friend chased and caught the victim, removed their belts and repeatedly hit him in the head using the buckle. When Bui was on the ground, Nguyen pulled out a firearm and murdered the victim by shooting him six times.
Nguyen fled the scene. A warrant was issued for his arrest in 2006. In the spring of 2008, the defendant was featured on the television program "America's Most Wanted." A tip received from a viewer who recognized Nguyen from the show led investigators to Phoenix, where Nguyen was located and arrested in June 2008. The defendant was brought back to Orange County from Arizona on June 18, 2008, to face charges.
On March 24 of this year, Nguyen was convicted of murder with a sentencing enhancement for firing the gun that killed Bui. His sentence today comes on top of a prior strike conviction for robbery in 1998.