Fri. May 24th, 2024

Candace Brito and Vanesa Zavala

Vanesa Tapia Zavala, 26, and Candace Marie Brito, 27, were convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the beating death of a 23-year-old woman outside a Santa Ana nightclub were each sentenced to to six years in state prison Friday in an Orange County courtroom, according to NBC News.

They were earlier found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and assault in the death of Annie Kim Pham, an aspiring writer who died two days after the January fight when she was taken off life support, according to the Press Telegram.

Witnesses testified that Pham and her group of 11 friends were waiting in line to get into The Crosby, a downtown Santa Ana bar and restaurant, as Brito, Zavala and several of their friends were exiting.  At some point, the groups bumped into each other and Brito and Zavala’s friend exchanged words with Pham. The friend was not charged in the case, according to ABC News.

Brito and Zavala go involved and physically assaulted Pham. When she fell to the ground, Pham was kicked in the head multiple times. Officers found an unconscious Pham on the sidewalk. She was declared brain dead when she arrived at a hospital and was disconnected from life support two days later, after her organs were harvested, according to CBS News.

Jurors, who deliberated for about a day, rejected second-degree murder charges, which would have carried a minimum punishment of 15 years to life in prison, according to Fox News.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals said the case represents a parent’s worst nightmare.  He asked the defendants why they — or the victim — hadn’t simply walked away from the fight that left Pham motionless on the ground, according to KTLA.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

8 thoughts on “Women sentenced for beating a woman to death in Downtown Santa Ana”
  1. 6 years becomes 3 years with good behavior – less time served – about 2 years more. Plus a lifetime of being label an ex-con felon. Probably fair …..

    1. There is no such thing as good behavior. That is a myth. Although inmates are released fro prison, they are not released from custody. You have been watching too many movies.

      Now, your time served argument holds water, but sentencing guidelines will require that these two killers spend approximately 85% of their sentence in a correctional facility. This could include a “social house” or a facility out of state. However, “Nessa” has a child and is broke from paying her defense, her Father spent his pension (small) defending her and the kids Father has not permitted travel. Therefor she will likely try to be assigned to CIW, Chino Institute for women (whose Warden is a Floral Park resident). That way Jr. could visit his Mother during her incarceration. The other killer, Brito can expect to enjoy the Central Valley garden spot of Chowchilla.

      Fair or not. These women are in to the hard reality of the CDC

  2. Not sure how true this is, but I read an article when this happened saying that Pham was calling the women “beaners” and other deragatory words. This apparently led led to the fight between the women.

    1. She didn’t deserve to die but the victim was the one who started the violence. That’s why jury found them not guilty of murder and gave them the lesser charge.

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