Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 7 a.m.
Hoa Tran might still be roaming free if he hadn't driven a vehicle in Orange County while intoxicated in 2008.
But the DUI arrest wasn't Tran's biggest problem.
For five years, the Vietnamese immigrant had been wanted by police in Oakland for murdering another immigrant in a late-night bar fight over differing opinions about an area in their native Vietnam.
Tran, then 24 years old, won the debate after going to his car, retrieving a handgun, shooting the other man, 26-year-old Tho Van Tu, and fleeing.
He'd managed to elude police detectives by successfully assuming his own brother's identity and moving to Orange County. But fingerprint check during his DUI arrest unmasked Tran, who also has a robbery conviction. He was shipped back to Oakland for trial.
He faces a punishment of up to 40 years in a California prison.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly