Judge Goethals during opening statements
Judge Goethals during opening statements
Pool Photo

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

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.

At the center of the hearing were two brothers, Brian and Jason Loyola, who were in line at the Crosby when the fights happened. They say that after they got in back in line post-fight, they saw a video recorded by a man that showed one of the kicks physically connecting with Pham. Until now, none of the witnesses called or the videos put into evidence have shown or described a kick physically connecting with Pham. Witnesses have made inferences on the contact based on body language, but every single witness admitted under cross examination that they never saw a kick land.

Also on the stand was SAPD Detective Leo Rodriguez, who has accompanied Deputy DA Troy Pino at the counsel desk for the entirety of the trial. He admitted that the police department couldn't find the video because they initially believed that they already had a copy and because the man who shot the video was briefly visiting Santa Ana. By the time SAPD realized they had never acquired the video, they were left with no leads to find it.

Goethals has yet to rule whether the Loyola brothers' description of that video will be admissible evidence. They will be able to testify about their eyewitness accounts, but the judge had reservations about the defense being unable to fairly cross-examine what they saw on a video that the defense had no access to. He will review applicable jurisprudence today, and a decision is expected in time for the brothers to testify tomorrow.

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


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