For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
GANG MEMBER FACES TRIAL FOR 2006 COLD CASE MURDER OF COLLEGE SENIOR OUTSIDE HALLOWEEN PARTY
SANTA ANA – A La Habra criminal street gang member faces trial today for shooting and murdering a college student outside of a Halloween party. David Anthony Parga, 27, formerly of La Habra, is charged with one felony count murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang, one felony count of attempting to dissuade a witness, and sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and criminal street gang activity. If convicted, he could face a sentence of life in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin today, Nov. 6, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. in Department C-28, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On the night of Oct. 29, 2006, Parga is accused of being at or near a Halloween party at a house in La Habra. The majority of the attendees at the party were members of a criminal street gang. Victim Leland Washington was not in a gang and had no gang affiliations. Washington arrived at the party with a friend at the invitation of two other high school friends.
Outside of the house, Parga is accused of approaching Washington and shooting him without provocation several times in the torso. Parga is accused of murdering the victim for a criminal street gang purpose. Washington and Parga did not know each other, and the victim had no previous contact or conflict with anyone at the party.
After shooting Washington, Parga is accused of fleeing the scene on foot. Washington’s friends put him in the car, called 911, and drove him two blocks to the La Habra Police Department (LHPD) station. The victim was transported from the police department to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Washington was a student at California State University, Fullerton, and was one semester away from graduating.
Parga is also accused of attempting to dissuade a witness to the murder from cooperating with the police for the benefit of the gang.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.