A 43-year-old Westminster man who fatally stabbed another he fought with at a party for a new fishing crew has been sent to state prison for 16 years to life.
Before Friday's sentencing, Khanh Van Le had been found guilty by a jury on Oct. 21 of one felony count of second degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife.
On Dec. 13, 2009, Le and his 44-year-old girlfriend Thao Thi Nguyen attended a party for new fishing crews at the Saigon Towing Yard in Garden Grove. Once there, Le encountered Thao Nguyen's ex-husband and his new girlfriend and got into a verbal argument with both over comments made about Thao Nguyen.
Things got so heated that the Garden Grove Police Department was contacted, but by the time officers arrived Le had left the party. Le, Thao Nguyen and her two daughters returned a short time later, and Le again began arguing with the ex-husband.
Anh Nguyen, 37, another
per prospective fisherman and guest at the party, intervened and told Le to leave. A physical altercation between Le and Anh Nguyen broke out. Le called police to report being attacked, but he refused to identify who attacked him, according to an Orange County District Attorney's office statement.
Around 8 that night, Thao Nguyen dropped Le off at Saigon Towing Yard a third time, and Le approached Anh Nguyen, who was in his van less than a block away from the party. Anh Nguyen was stabbed four times and his heart was punctured, killing him. Thao Nguyen later picked Le up and they drove back to their residence, where Le tossed the knife and tried to wash the victim's blood off his clothes. He was arrested the next morning.
Thao Thi Nguyen pleaded guilty on Nov. 22 to felony accessory after the fact for lying to police about Le's actions. Thao Nguyen was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years of formal probation after–over the objection of Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson–the judge knocked the felony down to a misdemeanor.