JURY RECOMMENDS DEATH FOR GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF SHOOTING AND MURDERING 13-YEAR-OLD MISTAKENLY BELIEVED TO BE A RIVAL

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 07ZF0003

 


 

June 15, 2009

Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

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

JURY RECOMMENDS DEATH FOR GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF SHOOTING AND MURDERING 13-YEAR-OLD MISTAKENLY BELIEVED TO BE A RIVAL

 

SANTA ANA – A jury recommended the death penalty today for a gang member convicted of murdering a 13-year-old boy and shooting two of his family members for the benefit of his gang after mistakenly believing that the victims were rivals. Jason Alejandro Aguirre, 34, Garden Grove, who was 28 years old at the time of the murder, was found guilty by a jury on May 21, 2009, of felonies for one count of special circumstances murder for a criminal street gang purpose, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of street terrorism. The sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death, great bodily injury, and criminal street gang activity were found true. Aguirre is scheduled to be formally sentenced on Aug. 14, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

CO-DEFENDANTS

The defendants are all accused of being members of a Vietnamese criminal street gang. Defendant Quang Hal Do, 24, Westminster, who was 18 years old at the time of the murder, is charged with felonies for one count of special circumstances murder for a criminal street gang purpose, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of street terrorism. He faces sentencing enhancements for the vicarious discharge of a firearm as a gang member causing great bodily injury and death and criminal street gang activity. Quang is being held without bail and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. He is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on July 10, 2009, at the Central Justice Center.

 

Defendants Harrison Khoa Pham, then 16 years old, Aaron Villegas, then 16 years old, and Danny Viet Duong, then 17 years old, were all prosecuted as adults. Pham, 22, pleaded guilty Oct. 31, 2008, to two felony counts of attempted murder, one felony count of street terrorism, and one felony count of voluntary manslaughter. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 10, 2009, in Department C-30, Central Justice Center. Villegas, 22, pleaded guilty Feb. 14, 2006, and Duong, 23, pleaded guilty Sept. 15, 2006, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter and one felony count of street terrorism. Both are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 11, 2009, in Department C-30, Central Justice Center.

 

Dung Q Le, 26, Portland, OR, who was 20 years old at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty June 20, 2008, to two felony counts of attempted murder and one felony count of voluntary manslaughter with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity and was sentenced to 23 years and four months in state prison. Donny Long Nguyen, 24, Westminster, who was 18 years old at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty Jan. 11, 2008, to two felony counts of attempted murder and one felony count of voluntary manslaughter with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity and was sentenced to 18 years and four months is state prison.

 

CIRCUMSTANCES OF CRIMINAL CASE

On Aug. 12, 2003, 13-year-old Minh Tran went for tacos with his brother Anh Tran, 14, cousins Ba Tran, 14, and Ahn Ta, 14, and uncle Nam Luong, 28, to Alerto’s Mexican Food on Brookhurst in Westminster. Alerto’s was a regular hangout for members of Aguirre’s criminal street gang.