A man who fatally shot a Lunar New Year celebrator outside D Saigon restaurant in Garden
Grove in 2009 was found guilty by a
jury today of second-degree murder.
The jury also found true the sentencing
enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death against Thanh Van Tran.
The 29-year-old Garden Grove resident could get 40 years to life in state prison at his
July 29 sentencing in Santa Ana.
He's not the only one facing heat in the murder of 40-year-old Tommy Ngoc Ta. As detailed in the Orange County District Attorney's office statement below, co-defendant Loi Van Nguyen, 32, of Garden Grove, could get five years in the can if convicted for his role in the crime.
June 9, 2011
MAN CONVICTED OF SHOOTING-MURDER OF PARTYGOER CELEBRATING VIETNAMESE LUNAR NEW YEAR AFTER LEAVING A GARDEN GROVE RESTAURANT
SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of the shooting-murder of a
partygoer leaving a Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration at a Garden
Grove Restaurant. Thanh Van Tran, 29, Garden Grove, was found guilty by a
jury of one felony count of second degree murder with a sentencing
enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. He
faces a maximum sentence of 40 years to life in state prison at his
sentencing July 29, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department
C-44, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendant Loi Van Nguyen, 32, Garden Grove, is charged with one
felony count of accessory after the fact and faces a maximum sentence of
five years in state prison if convicted. He is out of custody and is
scheduled for a pre-trial trial setting conference June 15, 2011, at
9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center.
Late in the evening of Jan. 24, 2009, Tran attended a Vietnamese Lunar
New Year party with co-defendant Nguyen at D Saigon, a restaurant in
Garden Grove. Upon leaving the party, Nguyen is accused of engaging in
an argument outside the restaurant with another man who had also been at
the New Year's celebration. The man's brother-in-law, 40-year-old Tommy
Ngoc Ta, witnessed the altercation and tried to push Nguyen off his
Tran retrieved a firearm from a car, approached Ta, and fired three
shots, hitting the victim in his left and right arm and once in the
chest. Tran fled the scene with Nguyen and witnesses called 911.
Ta was transported to University of California, Irvine Medical Center,
where he was pronounced dead a few hours later. The victim was a married
father of three.
Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) officers responded to the scene
and investigated the case. A day later, Nguyen is accused of contacting
police to turn himself in. Upon further investigation by GGPD, Tran was
linked to the crime and arrested Jan. 25, 2009.
Senior Deputy District Attorney
Cameron Talley of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.