HISPANIC GANG MEMBER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR COLD CASE HATE CRIME MURDER OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN COLLEGE SENIOR OUTSIDE OF HALLOWEEN PARTY IN 2006

For Immediate Release
Case # 10NF0673

 

April 15, 2010

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

HISPANIC GANG MEMBER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR COLD CASE HATE CRIME MURDER OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN COLLEGE SENIOR OUTSIDE OF HALLOWEEN PARTY IN 2006

 

FULLERTON – A La Habra criminal street gang member will be arraigned tomorrow for shooting and murdering a college student outside of a Halloween party, motivated by his gang’s hatred of African-Americans. David Anthony Parga, 24, formerly of La Habra, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances hate crime murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang, one felony count of street terrorism, and sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and the personal use of a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Parga is being held without bail and is scheduled for continued arraignment tomorrow, Friday, April 16, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

 

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 Hispanic criminal street gang with a history of disliking African-Americans. Victim Leland Washington, who was African-American, 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. He briefly went inside to look for his friends but went back outside to wait by his car when he was unable to find them.  

 

As the victim’s two friends came out of the party, Parga is accused of approaching Washington and shooting him several times in the torso. Parga is accused of murdering the victim without provocation because the victim was African-American. Washington and Parga did not know each other and the victim had had no 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 9-1-1, 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 from graduating.

 

The case was investigated by LHPD, but went cold. In December 2009, it was determined that there was enough evidence to pursue the case during a review by LHPD of cold cases. Additional investigation was conducted and the case was filed March 3, 2010.

 

In late March 2010, Parga was brought to Orange County to face charges from the California Institution for Men in Chino, where he was in prison on a parole violation for a 2007 conviction for stealing a car in Los Angeles County.

 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.