The defense and prosecution finished their closing arguments in the Kim Pham trial today. The three-hour court session capped a trial that has now gone on for exactly two weeks. Jury deliberation should begin this afternoon, following final jury instruction from Judge Thomas Goethals after lunch.
The Kim Pham trial is nearing its end as the prosecution and half of the defense made their closing statements today after less than two weeks in trial. Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino addressed the jury first, following Judge Thomas Goethals' morning jury instructions. He reiterated a theme tha ... More >>
The defense in the Kim Pham trial rested today after testimony by Candace Brito, one of the two defendants in the murder case and the only witness to take the stand today. Closing arguments will be made tomorrow. The jury is expected to retire to deliberation tomorrow afternoon or Wednesday morning.
25-year-old Vanesa Zavala took the stand in her own defense this afternoon after witnessing six days of testimony against her. The accused mother, who has thus far been fairly muted in court, spoke softly but firmly while being questioned by her defense attorney, Kenneth Reed.
The prosecution in the Kim Pham trial closed the first two days of its case today with two more new videos of the altercation and testimony from the third witness not to have an affiliation with either Pham's or Vanesa Zavala and Candace Brito's groups. The takeaway: All three of the unaffiliated wi ... More >>
See the update at the end of this post on the judge rejecting the defense motion to dismiss the charges. ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 15, 7:08 A.M.: A judge today could dismiss the charges against the two Santa Ana women accused of beating Kim Pham to death outside The Crosby on Jan. 19. Or, Orange County ... More >>
The time between a slaying and the court trial for the person or people believed to be responsible can often be years, but the strategy of those defending the presumed killers of Kim Pham outside The Crosby nightclub in Santa Ana on Jan. 18 has been to get this thing going as soon as possible. They ... More >>
Norma Patricia Esparza came to Santa Ana as a small child with her family from Mexico. She later received a scholarship to attend the elite Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and then Pomona College. She went on to work with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, before joining ... More >>
The fatal beating of Kim Pham outside The Crosby in Santa Ana was gang-related, according to an attorney. No, not the district attorney. It's the defense attorney for one of the two Latinas facing second degree murder charges in the case. "There have been some developments in the case that directl ... More >>
Over two years after getting arrested on seven felony charges of molesting his student, the trial of former JSerra High School Spanish teacher Ricardo Aldana is finally going to start today, according to lawyers for the victim. A quick refresher: Aldana was a popular volleyball coach in South Count ... More >>
Part one of a two-part interview... "There's something strange in this," says Refugio Ocampo, father of accused serial killer Itzcoatl Ocampo, as he dragged on a cigarette in Anaheim's industrial corridor. "[The Orange County District Attorney's office] had a winning case [against Itzcoatl]. So the ... More >>
It's almost been 3 years since I broke the news that Ricardo Aldana, a Spanish teacher and volleyball coach at JSerra High School down in San Juan Capistrano, was arrested on charged of molesting a student at the school. He faces seven felony counts of lewd acts upon a child, and sources tell the We ... More >>
The trial of suspected serial killer Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo likely will not begin until May 2014.While the 25-year-old Yorba Linda man accused of fatally stabbing a mother, her adult son and four homeless men has a Nov. 1 court date, his attorneys asked an Orange County Superior Court judge today fo ... More >>
Fusco: OC's most savage fatherAt just 5-foot-6 and 125 pounds, Andrew David Fusco wasn't a big man in early 2005, but in the eyes of his then 4-week-old son he must have seemed like a giant. Fusco was, in fact, a 20-year-old monster who'd gotten his girlfriend, Megan Michelle Martinez, pregn ... More >>
Serial killer before he inked two Nazi SS tats over his throatIt took almost 12 minutes for Superior Court Judge Frank F. Fasel to summarize Billy Joe Johnson's extensive rap sheet and mention a few mitigating factors before finding that the Costa Mesa-bred white supremacist gangster's 30-year sp ... More >>
Billy Joe Johnson says drugs blocked his dreamsOn the day he didn't bother to spike his Mohawk (with jailhouse soap) or tuck in his white button down shirt, Costa Mesa serial killer Billy Joe Johnson received the death penalty recommendation from a somber jury of eight men and four women. Johnson ... More >>
Costa Mesa serial killer say he has no remorseLisping serial killer Billy Joe Johnson (pictured) walked into Orange County Superior Court today in a seemingly relaxed mood despite the shackles, handcuffs and extra security. An animated, wide-eyed smile appeared on Johnson's prison pale face when ... More >>
Will Billy Joe's Suck Up to Prison Gang Work?In what may have been acclaimed homicide prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh's easiest conviction, a jury this afternoon found Billy Joe Johnson--the notorious, wide-eyed and lisping Costa Mesa white supremacist--guilty in the 2002 conspiracy to execute a fello ... More >>
Who created Billy Joe Johnson?There was something comical about defense attorney Michael Molfetta's opening performance today in the trial of legendary Costa Mesa serial killer/white supremacist Billy Joe Johnson. Molfetta, a former prosecutor with legendary oratory skills, represents Johnson--a ... More >>
The rise and hard fall of rockabilly barber Jake Bricks