|For Immediate Release
Case # 07CF0167
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MAINTENANCE MAN SENTENCED TO
50 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF 67-YEAR-OLD AFTER BECOMING ANGRY OVER LOSING HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS IN
ILLEGAL GAMBLING GAME
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison for shooting and murdering a 67-year-old man after becoming angry about losing hundreds of dollars in a Cambodian dice game. Franco Edgar Neftali, 44, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury March 9, 2010, of one felony count of first degree murder and the sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death was found true.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2007, Neftali was illegally gambling with several others in a Cambodian dice game at Bishop Manor, a Santa Ana apartment complex where he worked as a maintenance man. After ten minutes of gambling, the defendant became angry that he had lost hundreds of dollars and left.
Neftali returned to the apartment ten minutes later with a firearm. He banged on the door, entered the residence, pulled out the gun, and pointed it at the occupants. Neftali asked who was the “big dealer,” or the person responsible for holding the money. The defendant then shot 67-year-old Neou Son in the head, murdering him. The defendant fled the scene and hid the firearm in the rafters of a sauna room in the complex.
Witnesses called 911 and Santa Ana police arrested the defendant minutes later outside of the apartment complex.
During the sentencing today, the victim’s wife, son and daughter provided impact statements to the court. His son, Sam Son, told the court that he learned of his father’s murder while serving his second deployment in Iraq. Sam Son explained that what his family lacked in money, they made up for in love.
The victim’s daughter, Jane Son, said that her father immigrated to the US from Cambodia so that his family could be educated and have a better life. She explained that she was the first in her family to get a college degree, a source of pride for her father, but he never got to see her complete school because he was murdered five months prior to her graduation.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simons of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.