|For Immediate Release
Case # 06WF0811
January 30, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DRIVER SENTENCED FOR MURDERING UNBORN BABY BOY IN HIGH SPEED CRASH WHILE FLEEING FROM POLICE ON WRONG SIDE OF FREEWAY
SANTA ANA – A driver who was fleeing from police on the wrong side of the freeway was sentenced today to 30 years to life in prison for murdering an unborn baby boy in a high-speed crash. Hung Van Mai, 38, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury on Oct. 28, 2008, of one felony count of murder, one felony count of evading while driving recklessly, and a true finding on the sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury. Mai has a prior strike conviction for a 1990 assault with a firearm.
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on March 30, 2006, Garden Grove police officers attempted to perform a routine traffic stop on Mai for having darkly tinted car windows. Mai refused to stop as officers followed him with lights and sirens. He attempted to flee and led police on a high-speed chase at speeds up to 65 mph on local roads. Mai turned off his headlights in an effort to make it more difficult for officers to see and follow his car. He sped northbound on Harbor Boulevard and entered the wrong way onto the exit ramp to State Route 22. Mai was driving the wrong direction up the ramp onto the freeway into oncoming traffic and attempted to make a high-speed U-turn. Anthony Moore, then 22-years-old, was driving 65 mph on the freeway and crashed head-on into the front passenger door of Mai’s car. The crash was captured on video by the camera in the patrol car.
Mai suffered only minor cuts. Moore suffered broken bones. His girlfriend, Sully Portillo, then 22-year-old, was in the passenger seat of Moore’s car and was eight months pregnant. Portillo underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured uterus, broken bones, and suffered a concussion. Moore and Portillo’s unborn child, Baby Boy Portillo, was killed.
During the sentencing today, Portillo said that she is devastated because while Mai’s family can visit him in prison, all that she has of her son is “a patch of grass and a headstone.” Moore discussed the sadness he felt at knowing he would never get to raise his son and teach him to do the right things in life.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.