For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
FIFTH STRIKER SENTENCED TO 33 YEARS TO LIFE FOR CAUSING EXPLOSION THAT STARTED FIRE INSIDE HIS MOTEL ROOM
SANTA ANA – A fifth striker was sentenced today to 33 years to life in state prison for causing an explosion that started a fire inside his motel room. Thanh Van Quang, 39, Fountain Valley, was found guilty by a jury Oct. 30, 2013, of one felony count each of arson of an inhabited property and possession of a flammable material with sentencing enhancements for arson with use of an accelerant. The defendant has four prior strike convictions from 1998 for voluntary manslaughter, assault with a firearm, and two felony counts of robbery. In addition to his prison sentence, Quang was ordered to pay over $177,000 in restitution.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2012, Quang started an argument with the manager at Pueblo Motel in Santa Ana about Quang inviting guests into his own motel room. Approximately one hour after the argument, Quang walked to a nearby gas station, purchased a gasoline canister, and filled it with one gallon of gasoline before he returned to the motel.
At approximately 4:00 p.m., Quang caused an explosion in his motel room, which started a fire that damaged his room and neighboring rooms. Quang was captured on surveillance removing several items from his room prior to the explosion.
Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.