After being featured as a fugitive on America's Most Wanted, an Orange County killer caught in Arizona and convicted of a brutal murder has been begging officials to reopen his case.
Cuong Viet Nguyen, 31, maintains that he killed Tri Bui in self defense following a ridiculously stupid 2005 spat outside the All Star Cafe, a pool hall, in Stanton.
A 2009 jury convicted Nguyen of murder, attempted murder and determined he'd committed a prior robbery. Superior Court Judge Richard F. Toohey sentenced him to prison for a lengthy period.
But the killer took his case to the California Court of Appeal in Santa Ana and there in May 2011 got a panel of justices to reverse a prior robbery conviction as unsubstantiated and thus reduce his punishment by 15 years.
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That semi-victory must have given Nguyen inspiration to seek additional legal concessions. In May, he appealed his case to federal judges. But his luck had run out.
This week, U.S. District Court Judge John A. Kronstadt accepted a negative case report by Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato and dismissed Nguyen's federal appeal.
Upshot: The killer will remain locked in the California State Prison at Sacramento to serve his 40 years to life sentence.