Case # 10NF0673
Date: October 31, 2014
GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR 2006 MURDER OF COLLEGE SENIOR OUTSIDE HALLOWEEN PARTY
SANTA ANA – A La Habra criminal street gang member was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison for shooting and murdering a college student outside of a Halloween party. David Anthony Parga, 27, formerly of La Habra, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 20, 2013, of one felony count of second degree murder and sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and criminal street gang activity.
On the early morning of Oct. 29, 2006, Parga was 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 approached Washington and shot him without provocation several times in the torso. Parga murdered 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 fled the scene. Washington’s friends put him in the car, called 911, and drove him two blocks to the La Habra Police Department 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.
At the sentencing today, the victim’s family members delivered emotional impact statements to the court. The victim’s sister said in part, “Halloween weekend will never be the same for us. It’s ironic that we’re here today to sentence the man who murdered my brother.” She went on to say, “It’s not fair that his [Washington’s] life was taken away by a nonproductive member of society.”
The victim’s brother said in part, “How much street cred did you get for killing someone that was about to graduate with a double major in accounting and business administration?” He went on to say, “My children will never know who I am as a person because I have always been Leland’s little brother. Every day is a reminder that a piece of our lives is missing.”
The victim’s father said in part, “I miss my son very much. No matter how long I live, I will never forgive you for taking my son away from our family. My mother told me to never say never, but I will never forgive you.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.